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Best GB or England Side in your time watching RL?


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3 minutes ago, Grand Est said:

Yep. This.

As one of my mates said to me when watching him: "He's like a team on his own, that guy".

For the people on here top young to see him play live one thing sticks out for me.

There are players who can turn a game on its head with a moment of brilliance.  A player who can produce something spectacular out of the blue.

Then there are players with a huge work ethic who ran themselves into the ground every game with a sheer will to win.

And Hanley was both.

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"The history of the world is the history of the triumph of the heartless over the mindless." — Sir Humphrey Appleby.

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Just now, Dunbar said:

For the people on here top young to see him play live one thing sticks out for me.

There are players who can turn a game on its head with a moment of brilliance.  A player who can produce something spectacular out of the blue.

Then there are players with a huge work ethic who ran themselves into the ground every game with a sheer will to win.

And Hanley was both.


Exactly this. I’ve seen Meninga, Lewis, Sterling, Johns, Kenny and countless others live, and Hanley’s ahead of them all. He’s like the queen in chess - can play the part of all the pieces, when needed. 

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6 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

For the people on here top young to see him play live one thing sticks out for me.

There are players who can turn a game on its head with a moment of brilliance.  A player who can produce something spectacular out of the blue.

Then there are players with a huge work ethic who ran themselves into the ground every game with a sheer will to win.

And Hanley was both.

Hanley’s first spell at Balmain sums up the quality of the man,a team who looked to be fading from playoff contention despite containing Kangaroos greats Pierce,Roach,Elias,Sironen & Jack was transformed by his arrival as he took the Tigers on a winning run of sudden death rugby all the way to a Grand Final that was only stopped by a cowardly cheap shot by Terry Lamb.

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13 minutes ago, Davo5 said:

Hanley’s first spell at Balmain sums up the quality of the man,a team who looked to be fading from playoff contention despite containing Kangaroos greats Pierce,Roach,Elias,Sironen & Jack was transformed by his arrival as he took the Tigers on a winning run of sudden death rugby all the way to a Grand Final that was only stopped by a cowardly cheap shot by Terry Lamb.

Possibly the most game-changing cheap shot in the history of League. Credit’s due, in a perverse way. You’re right, Hanley changed that whole season - honestly, having lived out there for 4 years I can 100% confirm the Aussies knew exactly how good he was. If he was an Aussie, they’d mark him up there with Lewis and be a guaranteed hall of famer. 

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1 hour ago, Davo5 said:

Hanley’s first spell at Balmain sums up the quality of the man,a team who looked to be fading from playoff contention despite containing Kangaroos greats Pierce,Roach,Elias,Sironen & Jack was transformed by his arrival as he took the Tigers on a winning run of sudden death rugby all the way to a Grand Final that was only stopped by a cowardly cheap shot by Terry Lamb.

Correct.

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1 hour ago, Dunbar said:

For the people on here top young to see him play live one thing sticks out for me.

There are players who can turn a game on its head with a moment of brilliance.  A player who can produce something spectacular out of the blue.

Then there are players with a huge work ethic who ran themselves into the ground every game with a sheer will to win.

And Hanley was both.

He was also a bit of a freak physically at that time. The guy could run faster sideways, than some players on the pitch could run forward.

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I have been watching the game for 30+ years and can easily say the first two names on my team sheet for an all time team from the late 80s to present day would be Cameron Smith at 9 and Hanley at 13.

 

Sculthorpe and Farrell were outstanding players but both would have to slide out to the second row berths if Ellery was around. Likewise some of the best games from Sam Burgess in an international shirt were at 13 but I would still shift him into the prop rotation.

 

There is not a style of play or team tactic that having Hanley in your team would not raise your chances of winning.

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10 hours ago, Harry Stottle said:

I would wager those Aussies of a certain age to watch both Reilly and Hanley would plump for the former.

Been in Aus. for over 50 years and I would select Mal over Ellery. Some pundits have him he as the best English forward to play in Australia. I will have a crack at the best GB/England side later which will be so difficult as I have watched for nearly 75 years and seen many great players that played in the same position.

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Here goes. Best team is from the

5 hours ago, George Watt said:

Been in Aus. for over 50 years and I would select Mal over Ellery. Some pundits have him he as the best English forward to play in Australia. I will have a crack at the best GB/England side later which will be so difficult as I have watched for nearly 75 years and seen many great players that played in the same position.

My best team is the Ashes GB team in 1959 which won the decider to be the last time the Ashes were won by GB in the UK.

Round. Southward, Ashton, Fox, Sullivan.  Bolton, Stevenson.  Wilkinson,Harris,Terry.  Robinson, McTigue. Whiteley.

Best individual players for my team.

Davies. Boston, Ward, Ashton, Offiah.  Hanley, Murphy.  Watson, Egan, Gee.  Huddart, McTigue. Reilly.

 

 

 

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51 minutes ago, George Watt said:

Here goes. Best team is from the

My best team is the Ashes GB team in 1959 which won the decider to be the last time the Ashes were won by GB in the UK.

Round. Southward, Ashton, Fox, Sullivan.  Bolton, Stevenson.  Wilkinson,Harris,Terry.  Robinson, McTigue. Whiteley.

Best individual players for my team.

Davies. Boston, Ward, Ashton, Offiah.  Hanley, Murphy.  Watson, Egan, Gee.  Huddart, McTigue. Reilly.

 

 

 

Before my time but always thought the 62 Great Britain tour side was the strongest we’ve ever put out.

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10 hours ago, Grand Est said:

Reilly was playing against part timers though. Hanley took athleticism, power and strength to a different level, and did so against full time professionals.

Never heard the saying you can only play against what is in front of you?

By your way of thinking, not any of the 'Greats or Immortals' that played Rugby League prior to being full time professionals would not be as good as those who have played full time.

It may have also escaped you that when Hanley was at the peak of his powers he was in a team of Full Time Professionals playing mainly against part time opposition.

Just as a matter of fact how long have you been watching/involved in Rugby League?

 

 

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3 hours ago, George Watt said:

Here goes. Best team is from the

My best team is the Ashes GB team in 1959 which won the decider to be the last time the Ashes were won by GB in the UK.

Round. Southward, Ashton, Fox, Sullivan.  Bolton, Stevenson.  Wilkinson,Harris,Terry.  Robinson, McTigue. Whiteley.

Best individual players for my team.

Davies. Boston, Ward, Ashton, Offiah.  Hanley, Murphy.  Watson, Egan, Gee.  Huddart, McTigue. Reilly.

 

 

 

Thanks for the input, it's always great to hear from people who have followed the sport for so long.

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3 hours ago, George Watt said:

Here goes. Best team is from the

My best team is the Ashes GB team in 1959 which won the decider to be the last time the Ashes were won by GB in the UK.

Round. Southward, Ashton, Fox, Sullivan.  Bolton, Stevenson.  Wilkinson,Harris,Terry.  Robinson, McTigue. Whiteley.

Best individual players for my team.

Davies. Boston, Ward, Ashton, Offiah.  Hanley, Murphy.  Watson, Egan, Gee.  Huddart, McTigue. Reilly.

 

 

 

Phew George, have you got a tin hat?

How long is it since any of your forwards actually donned a pair of boots? and it is 20+ years since your two most recent backs played.

Do you not realise that these part-timers would find it difficult to compete with the modern day athletes of today's game, even if you made an allowance and subjected your selection to full time status, they would not have the skill set to overcome the modern player's.😉

 

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2 hours ago, Davo5 said:

Before my time but always thought the 62 Great Britain tour side was the strongest we’ve ever put out.

The '70 touring team was not bad either Dav, a good few of those player's being enticed to Australia after that tour and becoming amongst the leading most respected player's over there.

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13 hours ago, Dunbar said:

If I had to pick the best team from all the England/Great Britain players I have seen, I would go with the following... assuming they are all playing at the top of their game.

1. Jonathan Davies 

2. Jason Robinson 

3. Paul Newlove

4. Gary Connolly

5. Martin Offiah

6. Garry Schofield 

7. Andy Gregory 

8. Kevin Ward

9. Keiron Cunningham 

10. Sam Burgess

11. Denis Betts

12. Paul Sculthorpe 

13. Ellery Hanley 

 

14. James Roby

15. Jamie Peacock 

16. Andy Platt

17. Sean Edwards

I'd probably select Morley instead of Edwards but I'd go with the same 1-13.

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Opinions are not facts. Expect opinions to be challenged and justification requested. That's the way it is with forums.

In my opinion, in my experience, the best team was the one that came second to Australia in the 1992 World Cup Final at Wembley. I was there, in amongst the record crowd. We really were in with a shout until Steve Renouf broke all our hearts.  The relief on the faces of those Aussies in the crowd was there for all to see, which to me shows the quality of our team

The closest were been for years, and to lose 10 -6 was heartbreaking. In my opinion, no team has ever come closer. This was the best of British that day.

FB 1 12px-Wigancolours.svg.png Joe Lydon
RW 2 12px-Saintscolours.svg.png Alan Hunte
RC 3 12px-Saintscolours.svg.png Gary Connolly
LC 4 12px-Rhinoscolours.svg.png Garry Schofield (c)
LW 5 12px-Wigancolours.svg.png Martin Offiah
SO 6 12px-Wigancolours.svg.png Shaun Edwards
SH 7 12px-Bullscolours.svg.png Deryck Fox
PR 8 12px-Saintscolours.svg.png Kevin Ward
HK 9 12px-Wigancolours.svg.png Martin Dermott
PR 10 12px-Wigancolours.svg.png Andy Platt
SR 11 12px-Wigancolours.svg.png Denis Betts
SR 12 12px-Wigancolours.svg.png Phil Clarke
LK 13 12px-Rhinoscolours.svg.png Ellery Hanley
Substitutions:
IC 14 12px-Widnes_colours.svg.png John Devereux
IC 15 12px-Rhinoscolours.svg.png Alan Tait
IC 16 12px-Wigancolours.svg.png Kelvin Skerrett
IC 17 12px-Widnes_colours.svg.png Richard Eyres

 

Edited by JohnM
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“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”
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1 hour ago, Harry Stottle said:

It may have also escaped you that when Hanley was at the peak of his powers he was in a team of Full Time Professionals playing mainly against part time opposition.

Just as a matter of fact how long have you been watching/involved in Rugby League?

 

 

That hasn't escaped me at all.... Ellery played in Australia against professional opposition and made a huge impact there.

Even in England, the game had moved on loads by the early 90s from Reilly's era. If you read Reilly's book he says that when he played, international Rugby League was quite primitive, with the number one goal of players being to hurt someone on the opposition.

Why are you asking how long I have been involved? I started playing mid-90s, but watched for a few years before then. How long have you been living in the past?

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55 minutes ago, JohnM said:
FB 1 12px-Wigancolours.svg.png Joe Lydon
RW 2 12px-Saintscolours.svg.png Alan Hunte
RC 3 12px-Saintscolours.svg.png Gary Connolly
LC 4 12px-Rhinoscolours.svg.png Garry Schofield (c)
LW 5 12px-Wigancolours.svg.png Martin Offiah
SO 6 12px-Wigancolours.svg.png Shaun Edwards
SH 7 12px-Bullscolours.svg.png Deryck Fox
PR 8 12px-Saintscolours.svg.png Kevin Ward
HK 9 12px-Wigancolours.svg.png Martin Dermott
PR 10 12px-Wigancolours.svg.png Andy Platt
SR 11 12px-Wigancolours.svg.png Denis Betts
SR 12 12px-Wigancolours.svg.png Phil Clarke
LK 13 12px-Rhinoscolours.svg.png Ellery Hanley
Substitutions:
IC 14 12px-Widnes_colours.svg.png John Devereux
IC 15 12px-Rhinoscolours.svg.png Alan Tait
IC 16 12px-Wigancolours.svg.png Kelvin Skerrett
IC 17 12px-Widnes_colours.svg.png Richard Eyres

 

Strong team that. 👍🏼

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1 hour ago, Harry Stottle said:

The '70 touring team was not bad either Dav, a good few of those player's being enticed to Australia after that tour and becoming amongst the leading most respected player's over there.

Had just arrived in Australia (late 1968) and went to all 3 games. Reilly,Watson and Millward came to Aus after that tour and Dave Bolton was already here when I arrived playing for Balmain. Game 3 at the SCG was the most excited I have been at a RL match in the win that clinched the Ashes. We had been walloped in the first in Brisbane, although we did win the fights that took place with Cliff Watson taking on the Aussie pack. The match was written up as the Battle of Brisbane!

Would have loved to have seen the 1962 series in Aus. as it was a super strong squad and included quite a few who made my best individual team.

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On 01/11/2021 at 10:00, Alan Robertson said:

In my opinion, the best GB starting line up in my time watching the sport (just over 30 years) was:

Davies, Robinson, Connolly, Hunte, Offiah, Powell, Edwards, Harrison, Jackson, Joynt, Betts, Farrell, Clarke

1st Test, Wembley, 1994

 

Furthermore, Andy Platt was amongst the players ruled out through injury. Ellery Hanley only retired from playing internationals the year earlier.

I'd happily consider arguments that a line-up from another of the 1994 tests was as strong or stronger. The sides on the 92 tour were also a similar level, IMHO. 

Around 2003, there were some strong sides - including Morley, Peacock, Fielden, Farrell, Sculthorpe, Connolly etc. - but without backs that had the calibre of Offiah and Robinson.

 

That ‘94 test was my first live experience of GB.

What a game and performance.

Foolishly I thought it would alway be like that!  Haha

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1 minute ago, Scubby said:

What the hell happened between the early 1990s and 2020s? Where have those outside backs gone?

Is that a rhetorical question?

Why since the 1990s do we no longer have Jonathan Davies, Jason Robinson, Martin Offiah etc playing Rugby League??

Hmmm... Let me think...

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1 hour ago, JohnM said:

Opinions are not facts. Expect opinions to be challenged and justification requested. That's the way it is with forums.

In my opinion, in my experience, the best team was the one that came second to Australia in the 1992 World Cup Final at Wembley. I was there, in amongst the record crowd. We really were in with a shout until Steve Renouf broke all our hearts.  The relief on the faces of those Aussies in the crowd was there for all to see, which to me shows the quality of our team

The closest were been for years, and to lose 10 -6 was heartbreaking. In my opinion, no team has ever come closer. This was the best of British that day.

FB 1 12px-Wigancolours.svg.png Joe Lydon
RW 2 12px-Saintscolours.svg.png Alan Hunte
RC 3 12px-Saintscolours.svg.png Gary Connolly
LC 4 12px-Rhinoscolours.svg.png Garry Schofield (c)
LW 5 12px-Wigancolours.svg.png Martin Offiah
SO 6 12px-Wigancolours.svg.png Shaun Edwards
SH 7 12px-Bullscolours.svg.png Deryck Fox
PR 8 12px-Saintscolours.svg.png Kevin Ward
HK 9 12px-Wigancolours.svg.png Martin Dermott
PR 10 12px-Wigancolours.svg.png Andy Platt
SR 11 12px-Wigancolours.svg.png Denis Betts
SR 12 12px-Wigancolours.svg.png Phil Clarke
LK 13 12px-Rhinoscolours.svg.png Ellery Hanley
Substitutions:
IC 14 12px-Widnes_colours.svg.png John Devereux
IC 15 12px-Rhinoscolours.svg.png Alan Tait
IC 16 12px-Wigancolours.svg.png Kelvin Skerrett
IC 17 12px-Widnes_colours.svg.png Richard Eyres

 

This was the era I was thinking of John.

The GB team was exceptionally fast, the backline were superbly quick.

I had a look at the Australian side that day and they don't look to have had as good backs, certainly not as quick. However, they must have been exceptionally coached in defence to only concede 6 points to that attacking talent. 

Edited by Niels
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50 minutes ago, Grand Est said:

Is that a rhetorical question?

Why since the 1990s do we no longer have Jonathan Davies, Jason Robinson, Martin Offiah etc playing Rugby League??

Hmmm... Let me think...

Robinson was a league junior tbf others like Loughlin, Newlove, Connolly, Schofield, Senior, Gleeson, Hunte, etc. big game centres been there and done it.

For the last 8 years we have been kicking around Cudjoe, Gildart, Bateman, Watkins, Sarginson, Lyne, Percival, Currie et al - the cupboard is pretty bare.

Edited by Scubby
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