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has the position of prop evolved?

just watching the performance of siosiua Tuakeiaho couldn't help but think this position is changing and with the ball in play a bit more than usual what type of prop should we target? his stats are equal or better than Jason Tamualolo 272 Metres 54 minutes tackle efficency 93%  the raiders have a much more mobile pack and they seem to competing for long periods - talk at the start of the season was George Burgess was a possible signing but I think the club should rethink the type prop to partner Jr, now on  to this season watching Oregan K & Ray Stone off the bench I feel our forward rotation was seamless and effective, Ray stone could be our Cam Murray or Victor Radley both him and Reed could really play a big part driving out line speed in defense similar - The line that Oregan ran to score his debut try was first class, the kid is a footballer with power I feel both these young eels add balance and different body shapes to our pack they must remian in the 17. I would be tempted to go with the following pack when everyone is fit

8 Peni Terepo 9. Mahoney 10 Jr Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 10 Marata Niukore 13 Nathan Brown 14 Oregan Kaufusi 15 Mannah 16 Ray Stone 17 Tepai Moeroa 


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  • Taukeiaho is the man! Had $5 on him for last try at $41. Happy days! Thought those odds were just way too juicy.

    • Well done Nidge! next time  you have a hot tip send me a PM! lol

  • You need a variety in body shapes and styles. The big battering ram type like Burgess still has a role to play, but you don’t want a team full of them 

  • Yeh I concur with Brett on this, although I see it almost in terms of skillset rather than body shapes. I think you have three middle forwards but generally you want three different types of middle forwards. If you look at how we built our set through the middle forwards on the weekends. I think you've got three middle forward roles you want to fill.

    1) Sacrificial middle. This is the guy who takes your first hit-up and essentially gets belted every set. Post contact metres are particularly tough in this scenario so the ability to find your front and not get overly dominated on the ground is key. Aka Tim Mannah, Daniel Alvaro 
    2) Power middle. This is the bloke with the great leg-speed who then tries to put a dent in your line. Peni Terepo is doing an awesome job in that role for us right now.
    3) Skillful middle. This is the bloke who can do a tip-on or offload or pass the ball out the back. Currently Junior Paulo filling that role for us, has been Nathan Brown in the past. This guy helps keeps the middle compressed prior to you sending it out to your backs.

    • To go further, I think the next evolution of the game is how teams use their bench. With coaches increasingly wanting their edges to both play 80min, and at least one, if not 2 starting middles playing at least 60min, that only leaves 120min of middle forward playing time to fill out with 4-5 players to fill those minutes out. 

      What I can see starting to happen is coaches using their bench more strategically and intentionally, rather than just standard 20 min shifts and rolling them on and off in a preplanned way. I can see certain players who will be on your bench for opponent or situationally specific reasons, guys like Kane Evans for his length & athleticism, Dave Gower for his hands & ball playing, Ray Stone for his versatility. These kinds of players may not be "everyday" players to use a baseball term, but you have them for a specific opponent or situation.

      Again to reference baseball, I can see coaches using their bench in the same way baseball managers use their bullpen. When you only have 120min to fill between 4-5 players, depending on the composition of your bench, on any given day you might use Peni Terepo for 50min, across 3 shifts, or you might only give Tim Mannah one shift of 25min either side of halftime, or you might use Tepai Moeroa for 50min one week, but only 15min the next, all dependent on the situation.

      It's already starting to happen to a degree now, but I think in the next 10 years it's really going to become highly evolved and specialised. There is going to be a geniune difference between a starting middle and a bench middle, they're almost going to be different positions.

      • I think whats stopping that is the four benchies limitations + head injury rules. You almost need to pick one bench player, based on the assumption that your going to lose one player - probably a middle forward to HIA every game. So that limits how strategic you can be with your bench. 

        However, imagine if teams could carry six.eight players on the bench. Keep the interchange limits but let the coaches carry more bench players that fit a purpose that might pop up during the game. It will open up the game for more players of different skills and styles. Let's take Bevan French - you carry him on your bench as an attacking specialist. When you're leading and defence is a priority - let him sit the entire 80 minutes. However, you're behind and need an attacking spark - you throw French into the game. It would open up a whole new layer of strategy and tactics that I think the game would benefit from, and to a certain extent stop teams from allowing matches to turn into grinding contests, because coaches have players to combat that.

        • I do like the idea of more players on the bench maybe even like soccer once your off your off

        • I like that idea, and it would certainly lead to more entertaining play. I suppose though the problem then becomes how do you keep these players match fit? In the scenario with French, does he play a full game for Wenty then sits on the sideline for Parra in case we need him? This is how it used to be done with the three grade system.

        • I’ve championed that idea. Teams could pick 7 bench players for example, but can only use 4 of them. 

          I would also reduce the interchanges from 8 to 6 plus two permanent substitutes, with players only  able to be interchanged once. 

  • A Prop these days need to be able to do something more than just cart the ball up, that seems the job of the wingers these days.

    Wether it is a wrecking ball type like Moi Moi, a quick play the ball of Mannah or just a big body like Junior Paulo you need to be doing something different.

    In my opinion Alvaro and Evans are too one dimensional.

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