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Sua'ali'i doesn't have any of the skills to play fullback currently, he was only a fullback through juniors because he was too good to leave in the outside backs. Not even a hint of ballplaying outside of an offload once tackled - that worked in juniors because he was 6'5 and the other kids weren't 6' yet but this got exposed pretty badly during that finals game. 

It's okay for him to play fullback but Samoa just need to realise he's a superstar outside back playing fullback, effectively an extra roaming centre and adjust the gameplan accordingly. If they attempt to play him like a traditional fullback that's where things will come unstuck, play will breakdown once the ball gets to him and it'll cut off access to the rest of their superstar outside backs.

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8 minutes ago, The_Gun said:

I was just thinking that NZ have a lot of good props, so if they want to get all their best forwards on at once Tapine has played a lot of his career in the back row. I believe he started at lock in their last game anyway, so perhaps that’s where he’s most likely to play. They have great options regardless.

Yes, they have options.  Nelson Asofa-Solomona played a couple of games on the edge for the Storm this year and so he could do a job there as well.

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

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19 minutes ago, UTK said:

Sua'ali'i doesn't have any of the skills to play fullback currently, he was only a fullback through juniors because he was too good to leave in the outside backs. Not even a hint of ballplaying outside of an offload once tackled - that worked in juniors because he was 6'5 and the other kids weren't 6' yet but this got exposed pretty badly during that finals game. 

It's okay for him to play fullback but Samoa just need to realise he's a superstar outside back playing fullback, effectively an extra roaming centre and adjust the gameplan accordingly. If they attempt to play him like a traditional fullback that's where things will come unstuck, play will breakdown once the ball gets to him and it'll cut off access to the rest of their superstar outside backs.

That's true but I ain't judging his future performance at fullback off one bad game.

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What would the reaction be if we turn this situation around and say that England will be playing a fullback with less than 80 minutes of first grade in the position.

Suaalii is a terrific talent and proven to be a good winger.  But to put him straight into international rugby at #1 is an opportunity for any team to exploit his lack of experience. 

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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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15 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

What would the reaction be if we turn this situation around and say that England will be playing a fullback with less than 80 minutes of first grade in the position.

Suaalii is a terrific talent and proven to be a good winger.  But to put him straight into international rugby at #1 is an opportunity for any team to exploit his lack of experience. 

Suaali'i isn't a winger or a center. He's basically playing out of position for the last two seasons. For him to play that well out of position is impressive enough. I remember his debut last year and everyone started bagging him saying he ain't that good after all. Now look at him. All I'm saying is with the time he has now to train with the samoan team we might actually see Suaali'i show his true potential at fullback. I have no doubt the English will be in for a shock against Samoa. It'll be a close game but I see Suaali'i breaking out as a star in this world cup

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1 minute ago, Mojo said:

Suaali'i isn't a winger or a center. He's basically playing out of position for the last two seasons. For him to play that well out of position is impressive enough. I remember his debut last year and everyone started bagging him saying he ain't that good after all. Now look at him. All I'm saying is with the time he has now to train with the samoan team we might actually see Suaali'i show his true potential at fullback. I have no doubt the English will be in for a shock against Samoa. It'll be a close game but I see Suaali'i breaking out as a star in this world cup

Junior and NRL are so far apart that you can't say he is a full back playing out of position.

Are you saying that his skills as a 16 year old at full back means he can step up and play internationally without any weaknesses?

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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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17 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

Junior and NRL are so far apart that you can't say he is a full back playing out of position.

Are you saying that his skills as a 16 year old at full back means he can step up and play internationally without any weaknesses?

He came into the nrl without any experience at wing at the top level and got winger of the year in the nrl. My point is don't judge him off one bad game. And never said he has no weakness at all.

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24 minutes ago, Mojo said:

He came into the nrl without any experience at wing at the top level and got winger of the year in the nrl. My point is don't judge him off one bad game. And never said he has no weakness at all.

Samoa playing Suaalii at full back is like England playing Dominic Young at full back.

They have both played well on the wing in the NRL this year.  I mean, Young has made more line breaks, busted more tackles, made fewer errors and missed loads fewer tackles then Suaalii but they have both played well.

But the key to international success would be... how well did Young play in the Academy at Huddersfield.

Can you see how crazy the argument is.

 

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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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1 hour ago, Mojo said:

Suaali'i isn't a winger or a center. He's basically playing out of position for the last two seasons. For him to play that well out of position is impressive enough. I remember his debut last year and everyone started bagging him saying he ain't that good after all. Now look at him. All I'm saying is with the time he has now to train with the samoan team we might actually see Suaali'i show his true potential at fullback. I have no doubt the English will be in for a shock against Samoa. It'll be a close game but I see Suaali'i breaking out as a star in this world cup

Why would England be in for a shock when anyone can see this is a very good Samoan team. 

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Every prodigy junior outside back that comes through the grades plays fullback in juniors - at least in Australia, I can't speak for elsewhere. They get forced into fullback because that is the most involved position from 1-5 and at a junior level you want your best players as involved as they can be.

A short list of some current first-graders who played fullback in the junior ranks: Bradman Best, Zac Lomax, Nick Cotric, Stephen Crichton, David Nofoaluma, Alex Johnston. 

A junior career at fullback means nothing for a players actual position, especially a player as dominant as Sua'ali'i is at such a young age.

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1 hour ago, Dunbar said:

What would the reaction be if we turn this situation around and say that England will be playing a fullback with less than 80 minutes of first grade in the position.

I know I`d be saying "who is this kid ? christ he must be good." Bit like all the raps we were hearing about an 18 year old Garry Schofield before he toured back in the day.

Some players are just precocious enough and have a level of confidence perhaps we can`t relate to, and the ability to probably rise to the challenge in a way that is hard to comprehend.

 

6 minutes ago, UTK said:

A junior career at fullback means nothing for a players actual position, especially a player as dominant as Sua'ali'i is at such a young age.

C`mon, absolutely nothing. Full back from year dot to 18`s, rep games, everything, literally hundreds of games, thousands and thousands of hours. I would suggest it counts for a great deal. And especially for one with such a commanding presence and confidence like young Sua`ali`i.

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2 minutes ago, The Rocket said:

I know I`d be saying "who is this kid ? christ he must be good." Bit like all the raps we were hearing about an 18 year old Garry Schofield before he toured back in the day.

Some players are just precocious enough and have a level of confidence perhaps we can`t relate to, and the ability to probably rise to the challenge in a way that is hard to comprehend.

I like him.  He has all the physical attributes to be a superb player.  But I can't help think he is being talked up because of his age and the 'prodigy' status.  And maybe to keep him in the sport.

I don't think he was at the top of the NRL wingers this year - in fact I thought he was the second best winger at the Roosters.  His defensive and error stats show he has a lot to learn.

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

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The thing about Joseph Suaalii is that you need to fit him into that backline somewhere. From 2 to 6 they have the Panthers backline who have been the number one club in the competition for the last few years. So you cant break that up considering the combinations they have developed and how successful they have been this year (Some of those players only came into grade this year). So the only option is fullback as Suaalii isn't a half.

 

You could move Stephen Crichton to fullback and put Suaalii in the centres, but again you are doing the same thing by breaking up the Penrith backline combinations and are still playing him out of position, though centre is probably easier for him to adjust to and at least all those Panthers players are still in the side.

 

You can't put him on the wing and leave out To'o or May. That's crazy talk. 

 

So to those saying you shouldn't put Suaalii to fullback, what do you do? Where do you put him? 

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1 minute ago, Dunbar said:

I like him.  He has all the physical attributes to be a superb player.  But I can't help think he is being talked up because of his age and the 'prodigy' status.  And maybe to keep him in the sport.

I don't think he was at the top of the NRL wingers this year - in fact I thought he was the second best winger at the Roosters.  His defensive and error stats show he has a lot to learn.

I can`t disagree with a lot of your first paragraph. We have a bad habit of doing that over here and sometimes I think it only makes the situation worse. Players start thinking their talent deserves better than our relatively small NRL.

Your second paragraph, I don`t do the stats thing like you but yeah he certainly didn`t stand-out any more than a number of other wingers and when you look back on any number of outstanding 18 year olds that have burst onto the scene over the last 40 years, he`s well down the list.

But don`t get me wrong, he could be a very solid, and often dangerous full-back for a team that goes deep into the Cup, he`ll learn fast.

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13 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

I like him.  He has all the physical attributes to be a superb player.  But I can't help think he is being talked up because of his age and the 'prodigy' status.  And maybe to keep him in the sport.

I don't think he was at the top of the NRL wingers this year - in fact I thought he was the second best winger at the Roosters.  His defensive and error stats show he has a lot to learn.

Sometimes stats don't show the whole picture. If you look at these stats you'd think Haas has been dominating the nrl all year. But i do agree Tupou is the best winger on that team easily.FB_IMG_1664614107094.jpg.26d320c01d3a35f7c8632a2857f1d958.jpg

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2 minutes ago, The Rocket said:

Your second paragraph, I don`t do the stats thing like you but yeah he certainly didn`t stand-out any more than a number of other wingers and when you look back on any number of outstanding 18 year olds that have burst onto the scene over the last 40 years, he`s well down the list.

I don't want this to sound too much of a downer on Suaalii, more that I think Tupou is a fantastic winger.

For context Tupou scored more tries than Suaalii this year, made more line breaks, broke more tackles, ran for an average of 148 meres a game (Suaalii 130) and missed exactly half as many tackles as Suaalii.

I watched every game the Roosters played this year and Tupou was easily their best winger - and yet Suaalii gets into the Dally M team of the year.

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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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3 minutes ago, Mojo said:

Sometimes stats don't show the whole picture. If you look at these stats you'd think Haas has been dominating the nrl all year. But i do agree Tupou is the best winger on that team easily.FB_IMG_1664614107094.jpg.26d320c01d3a35f7c8632a2857f1d958.jpg

What a bizarre example to use.  Haas is the best prop in the NRL and the stats show that.

Put Haas into that Panthers team and see what the outcome would be.

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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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8 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

What a bizarre example to use.  Haas is the best prop in the NRL and the stats show that.

Put Haas into that Panthers team and see what the outcome would be.

Your talking to the wrong person. I'm the biggest Haas fan out there but James Fisher-Harris and Tapine both played better than Haas this season. But Haas is a machine who had a quiet year for his standards. For me when Haas retires he'll go down as the best prop ever

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13 minutes ago, Mojo said:

Your talking to the wrong person. I'm the biggest Haas fan out there but James Fisher-Harris and Tapine both played better than Haas this season. But Haas is a machine who had a quiet year for his standards. For me when Haas retires he'll go down as the best prop ever

Even better than Oledzski?

Good era for ''best ever'' players, LOL

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36 minutes ago, B rad said:

The thing about Joseph Suaalii is that you need to fit him into that backline somewhere. From 2 to 6 they have the Panthers backline who have been the number one club in the competition for the last few years. So you cant break that up considering the combinations they have developed and how successful they have been this year (Some of those players only came into grade this year). So the only option is fullback as Suaalii isn't a half.

 

You could move Stephen Crichton to fullback and put Suaalii in the centres, but again you are doing the same thing by breaking up the Penrith backline combinations and are still playing him out of position, though centre is probably easier for him to adjust to and at least all those Panthers players are still in the side.

 

You can't put him on the wing and leave out To'o or May. That's crazy talk. 

 

So to those saying you shouldn't put Suaalii to fullback, what do you do? Where do you put him? 

I'd have him at right centre or right wing before having him at fullback.

I think my Toa Samoa backline would be: The Hammer, Suaalii, Whiskey Tago Foxtrot, Crichton, To'o

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17 minutes ago, StandOffHalf said:

I'd have him at right centre or right wing before having him at fullback.

I think my Toa Samoa backline would be: The Hammer, Suaalii, Whiskey Tago Foxtrot, Crichton, To'o

I think that would be a better backline.

But I also think Suaalii will be full back as I think one of the ways in which Samoa got him to switch from the Kangaroo squad (where he was one of only two wingers named alongside Addo-Carr) was to offer him the full back spot.

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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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41 minutes ago, Mojo said:

 For me when Haas retires he'll go down as the best prop ever

not a patch on Stevie Pitchford

see you later undertaker - in a while necrophile 

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is it really sensible for Latrell Mitchell to be turning out in some indigenous tournament this weekend after complaining of a rib injury hampering his performance in the semi? apparently snubbed the dally m awards too to go partying! if i was big Mal I would have him locked in a room wrapped in cotton wool and bubble wrap 

see you later undertaker - in a while necrophile 

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48 minutes ago, Dunbar said:

I think that would be a better backline.

But I also think Suaalii will be full back as I think one of the ways in which Samoa got him to switch from the Kangaroo squad (where he was one of only two wingers named alongside Addo-Carr) was to offer him the full back spot.

Oh, I totally agree. He'll be their #1.

In a way, it's incredible that a kid of his age has sparked this bidding war between countries and gets to dictate where he wants to play.

I'd respect Parish if he told Suaalii he'd be selected on the wing, to knuckle down and get on with it. Won't happen though...

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30 minutes ago, graveyard johnny said:

is it really sensible for Latrell Mitchell to be turning out in some indigenous tournament this weekend after complaining of a rib injury hampering his performance in the semi? apparently snubbed the dally m awards too to go partying! if i was big Mal I would have him locked in a room wrapped in cotton wool and bubble wrap 

The Koori KO is a fairly significant event here and it returns after a 3 year hiatus due to Covid so I don't think anyone would be able to convince the Indigenous players to not play in it. 

Josh Addo-Carr is playing as well, it's a pretty interesting competition because you've got 2nd grade local pub league players lining up against current Kangaroos and plenty of NRL players, highly entertaining stuff.

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