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Super League Players - Lack of Size


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I appreciate the fact that you cannot simply 'magic up' 6' 6" 120 kg players but, having caught the last 20 minutes of the Saints-Wigan game a few days ago, I couldn't believe how small so many of the players looked. James Graham looked to be about the biggest Saint on the field. He was regularly the smallest front rower, during each NRL match, one of the smaller forwards and was also outsized by many of the outside backs. 

Back to the Saints-Wigan match, so many of the players appeared to be well under 6' (across both sides). 

Wigan had a few 'NRL-sized' players - particularly, ex-NRLers, Greenwood and Burgess. 

Overall, though, why is Super League not attracting/utilising 'big lads'?

 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Hullfan said:

The players are athletes now, hence why George Burgess has been a waste of money for Wigan!!!! 

As a Brit - who lives in Australia but very much wants England to win the next World Cup - I'm not sure that their athleticism is going to be too helpful against the likes of Nelson A-S, Daniel Saifiti, Tino F. Or, for that matter, against backs such as Waqa Blake and Tom T. No team is going to have 13 (or 17) giants but England will hardly have any - from what I can work out.

 

Edit: I will very happily 'eat my words' if England do win the World Cup.

Edited by Alan Robertson
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8 minutes ago, Alan Robertson said:

As a Brit - who lives in Australia but very much wants England to win the next World Cup - I'm not sure that their athleticism is going to be too helpful against the likes of Nelson A-S, Daniel Saifiti, Tino F. Or, for that matter, against backs such as Waqa Blake and Tom T. No team is going to have 13 (or 17) giants but England will hardly have any - from what I can work out.

I think the examples you use says it all, all of Pacific Islander or Maori descent. For a big kid of Anglo-Saxon-Celtic background if you are big there is this automatic assumption that you belong in the front row or forwards which can be intimidating for a kid, even at a kids football level, and means they will often seek out an alternative code.

30 or 40 years ago when everyone played, peer pressure ensured that nearly everyone played and big kids were introduced into the game, these days it`s o.k to play other sports or not play a sport at all. The key is to introduce kids of all sizes, big and small into the game and ensure they play a version of the game that introduces the tougher parts of the game gradually.

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23 minutes ago, Alan Robertson said:

As a Brit - who lives in Australia but very much wants England to win the next World Cup - I'm not sure that their athleticism is going to be too helpful against the likes of Nelson A-S, Daniel Saifiti, Tino F. Or, for that matter, against backs such as Waqa Blake and Tom T. No team is going to have 13 (or 17) giants but England will hardly have any - from what I can work out.

 

Edit: I will very happily 'eat my words' if England do win the World Cup.

No many teams carry more than one big player like Nelson. Even Melbourne after him aren’t a particularly big pack. It just so happened that the game you watched both teams had their big player missing Burgess for Wigan and Walmsley for Saints. I don’t think England will dominate in the pack but neither do I have any worries that they will struggle there. As for the backs that’s a different story most Southern Hemisphere teams will be too big and too fast in the backs for us. 

Edited by bobbruce
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8 minutes ago, The Rocket said:

I think the examples you use says it all, all of Pacific Islander or Maori descent. For a big kid of Anglo-Saxon-Celtic background if you are big there is this automatic assumption that you belong in the front row or forwards which can be intimidating for a kid, even at a kids football level, and means they will often seek out an alternative code.

30 or 40 years ago when everyone played, peer pressure ensured that nearly everyone played and big kids were introduced into the game, these days it`s o.k to play other sports or not play a sport at all. The key is to introduce kids of all sizes, big and small into the game and ensure they play a version of the game that introduces the tougher parts of the game gradually.

I probably picked some very bad examples - I could have picked Welch, Campbell-Gillard and Klemmer but I still think you have made stated some valid arguments.

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54 minutes ago, Alan Robertson said:

I appreciate the fact that you cannot simply 'magic up' 6' 6" 120 kg players but, having caught the last 20 minutes of the Saints-Wigan game a few days ago, I couldn't believe how small so many of the players looked. James Graham looked to be about the biggest Saint on the field. He was regularly the smallest front rower, during each NRL match, one of the smaller forwards and was also outsized by many of the outside backs. 

Back to the Saints-Wigan match, so many of the players appeared to be well under 6' (across both sides). 

Wigan had a few 'NRL-sized' players - particularly, ex-NRLers, Greenwood and Burgess. 

Overall, though, why is Super League not attracting/utilising 'big lads'?

 

 

 

If you compared the average height and weight of a Super League 17 to an NRL 17 I think we’d be a fair bit behind them.

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13 minutes ago, bobbruce said:

No many teams carry more than one big player like Nelson. Even Melbourne after him aren’t a particularly big pack. It just so happened that the game you watched both teams had their big player missing Burgess for Wigan and Walmsley for Saints. I don’t think England will dominate in the pack but neither do I have any worries that they will struggle there. As for the backs that’s a different story most Southern Hemisphere teams will be too big and too fast in the backs for us. 

To be honest, I know that each squad's biggest man wasn't playing and that England do have enough big lads to play 8, 10, 11, 12, 13. My bigger concern is probably the last point that you made, England having to choose from backs who don't reach the 6' mark and/or weigh under 90 kg.

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26 minutes ago, bobbruce said:

As for the backs that’s a different story most Southern Hemisphere teams will be too big and too fast in the backs for us. 

I always thought that League and even union had that advantage over soccer because there was room for the not quite as fast or mobile body types although this may apply more to larger forward types. From what I have seen of soccer most players would be around the 80k-90kg mark, so what sport are these big fast 90-100kg kids playing or are soccer players bigger than I think.

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46 minutes ago, The Rocket said:

I think the examples you use says it all, all of Pacific Islander or Maori descent. For a big kid of Anglo-Saxon-Celtic background if you are big there is this automatic assumption that you belong in the front row or forwards which can be intimidating for a kid, even at a kids football level, and means they will often seek out an alternative code.

30 or 40 years ago when everyone played, peer pressure ensured that nearly everyone played and big kids were introduced into the game, these days it`s o.k to play other sports or not play a sport at all. The key is to introduce kids of all sizes, big and small into the game and ensure they play a version of the game that introduces the tougher parts of the game gradually.

Say kid again! 

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One of the best forwards in NRL is Bateman.  One of the best 6 or7s is Williams. First is not that big and the second is not that small.

Re Wigan.  Assuming his hip injury recovers Burgess is a replacement for Flower. Plus Bullock. Singleton is not small. Harvard is 6'3" , 17 stone.  I think other teams and candidates are not much different.

I do not think our backs are not being out matched either.  I would question the stamina of islanders and i think we are more skillful and elusive..

 

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John Bateman has been one of the stand out forwards in the NRL . Liam Martin likewise . I’m not saying size isn’t a factor , guys like Nelson and Big Tino are by definition gonna be immensely difficult to handle , but it’s not black and white . Athleticism , footwork , ball skills and other attributes play a part , and smaller ( all relative of course ) guys can make it an advantage against bigger guys . Ultimately it’s the quality you’ve got , and I’m sure we’ll have a quality pack - with big guys like Walmsley included among it . Whether we have the edge behind it is our issue . We’ll match it up front 

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Pretty simple - The Polynesian/Pacific island factor in the southern hemisphere that makes up almost 50% of players in the NRL (and growing).

If you compared the 'white, caucasian' Australian NRL players to the SL which is predominantly 'white, caucasian', you wont see much difference. In fact, SL may have bigger fowards 'Walmsley, Burgess twins etc'.

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The natural size of NRL players is definitely bigger and there’s a lot of Pacific Islander influence, clearly.

I think a lot of SL forwards are naturally 13 - 14st guys bulked up to be 16st.  Whereas you really want a naturally minimum 15 - 16st guy, bulked up or slimmed down(!), as appropriate.

A lot of forwards cart around at the 15 - 16st mark but couldn’t burst a wet paper bag.  You get exceptional players like Bateman, Knowles or Farrell who bring something a bit extra despite not being huge.

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1 hour ago, Davo5 said:

If size is an issue,it's strange that NRL teams keep buying our forwards.

We really would be in trouble if we didn't have any players that were desirable to NRL clubs. 

However, on average, Super League players are significantly smaller than NRL players - particularly the backs. It's one of a long list of overall problems with the British game. 

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There will always be edge cases that people will cite to either prove or disprove either view but I think its fair to say that on average NRL players are bigger. The backs are certainly bigger, faster and more athletic. I know to the relatively uninitiated that come across the NRL they do think NRL players are much bigger and faster than Super League. My wife and kids would always comment on this watching the NRL and Union fans I know at work who come across the NRL would always say that too.

Edited by Damien
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31 minutes ago, Tonka said:

The natural size of NRL players is definitely bigger and there’s a lot of Pacific Islander influence, clearly.

I think a lot of SL forwards are naturally 13 - 14st guys bulked up to be 16st.  Whereas you really want a naturally minimum 15 - 16st guy, bulked up or slimmed down(!), as appropriate.

A lot of forwards cart around at the 15 - 16st mark but couldn’t burst a wet paper bag.  You get exceptional players like Bateman, Knowles or Farrell who bring something a bit extra despite not being huge.

I agree with your entire post.

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11 minutes ago, Alan Robertson said:

We really would be in trouble if we didn't have any players that were desirable to NRL clubs. 

However, on average, Super League players are significantly smaller than NRL players - particularly the backs. It's one of a long list of overall problems with the British game. 

I'm more concerned with the skill levels of our backs than their physical presence.

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As mentioned previously, the significant difference is in the outside backs.

In the NRL you don't really see the standard 5'10 to 6ft/84 to 88kg centre or wingers that are in abundance in SL. They're generally all over 6ft and around 95kg + mark.

Also helps as a sport having first pick of any athlete in NSW and QLD.

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3 hours ago, The Rocket said:

Kid.

Would you like me to resubmit that Sir ?

Did you run the spell and grammar check? 

 

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14 minutes ago, fighting irish said:

Did you run the spell and grammar check? 

 

I got Grammar to have a quick look at it but her spelling is worse than mine, by the way she said you look like a very nice young man in your photo but she said your suit was a little tight under the arms.

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