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Is a ball playing fullback required?

slippery5

Juniors
Messages
1,203
Just wondering if all the talk of a ball playing fullback is required when we have 2 ball playing halves next year?
My man of the match yesterday was Dugan with his Kick returns giving our forwards better field position, something that we definitely lose when Nighty is put back there.
Next year with Hunt given free rein to play both sides the final pass can come from either half hitting a running fullback or centre/winger ah la Widdop's cut out balls to Nighty this season.

The loss of what Dugan offers far out ways having only one ball playing half & one running half ( as Benji described himself after he joined the Broncos]
Dugan's catch & pass yesterday should be all that is required from your Fullback if he can return kicks like Graham Eadie, Gary Jack, Minichiello & now Dugan did.

What next year could have been with Dugan hitting the line of Hunt & Widdop we will never know but with Field describing himself as a running 5/8 his speed might just be something to watch, if not Dufty will be just as exciting, they just won't give the same yardage returning the kicks.
 

epDragon62

Bench
Messages
4,409
A ball playing FB with speed will do wonders for us. The only caveat is that he cannot be a major liability in defence.

That said, it would be interesting how Duges would go with a quality set of halves.
 
Messages
2,758
Duges was fantastic bringing the ball back up the field. Fully committed to the cause. Hope he leaves a winner.

If McDonald played with more commitment and intensity he has the size to make the metres we need from the back.

Will be happy to see Dufty at 1. He has the speed, vision and a great long pass and constantly backs up the centre of the ground. He is capable of scoring long distance tries. Something we have missed since we lost Brett Morris.
 

slippery5

Juniors
Messages
1,203
yes
A ball playing FB with speed will do wonders for us. The only caveat is that he cannot be a major liability in defence.

That said, it would be interesting how Duges would go with a quality set of halves.
Yes, Field & Dufty's defence is more than a worry.
 

Divine

Bench
Messages
2,617
Short answer ...no.
We've been brainwashed into thinking we do.
These ball playing skills ; that is throwing the moneyball that leads to a try is what a good centre can/ should do.
We're losing a champion fullback because he doesn't fit the mould.
 

Walpole

Juniors
Messages
1,819
Millward thinks we need a ball playing fullback because he clearly doesnt see any option outside the standard formations that every other boring team plays over and over. A coach with vision, control, direction and imagination wouldn't need Millward in the first place, he'd be making his own decisions. Mary has said Dugan is a fullback and wants him to play there but he doesn't have the skills to create plays that utilise Dugan's strengths. Only Josh's natural abilities make him a standout player, he gets no help from the muppets who run things.

As our esteemed forum colleague constantly notes, it's a mess.

One thing, Kurt Mann needs to ge in the starting lineup this year and next. We simply do not have seven better backs than him. Whether that's at fullback is open to debate but his defence, ball skills and footwork might be just the right fit for the number one. It's a travesty that none of he, Dufty or Field has been given a run there during origin. But, like all of us, banging my head against a brick wall is preferable to trying to work out Mary's thought processes.
 

Life's Good

Coach
Messages
13,971
In answer o the OP. No it isn't necessary if your game plan is built around the players you have. Best example I can give, from how I see it, is RTS at the Roosters in 2013/14/15. RTS is a great runner(like Dugan) who contributed to scoring just by supporting the halves & centres in creating doubt in the defence. He would chime in with passes from time (not a lot more than Dugan) but his main strength was running and creating that doubt. This is backed up by having bodies in motion(centres & edge forwards) keeping the ball moving as needed. This is what was working for us in the early rounds but other teams have figured us out and not having a decent kicking game means our structures are sht because we start our sets on the back foot. Hunt/Widdop/Lafai/Frizz/JDB will give us plenty of creativity so our FB just needs to be a good runner with strong defence(just like Dugan-not easy to replace though).
 
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Coffs dragon

Bench
Messages
3,530
No not really, but a good passing game along with speed is certainly a huge bonus. The fullback in today's game is required to have so many traits & skills that makes it almost impossible to fit into one package.
As Billy Slater once said, Josh Dugan is the strongest running fullback in the game & it's up to the coach to construct a game plan to utilise his greatest strengths. There lies the bigger problem for the Dragons with McJetski and his tunnel vision.
 

Crush

First Grade
Messages
7,209
Slightly off topic but does anyone else think dugans move to sharks might not work out all that well for him?
I think dugan loves playing that fullback role. Playing such an important role in the team, a spine player that makes a difference. He has been so important to the dragons and without him we will be a different team, no question.
Next year he will just be a center in a team full of talent. I think he might get a little bored actually.
 

Weipa Dragon

Juniors
Messages
1,182
If you want to win a comp, a ball playing fullback is a necessity. Dugan runs hard and tackles well, this will happen against Newcastle or so, but against a well drilled side, the extra man on a set play overlap will get you points. The inside ball off the halfback to a fullback who then throws a cutout to the centre will continue to get you points.

Think of teams that have won comps recently: fullbacks who are quick and can pass...and kick. Melbourne and slater. Cowboys and Coote. Cronulla with barbs. Even us with Boyd. Pretty small blokes who didn't always make huge metres on kick returns but blokes who would find the line or put it to their team mates consistently.

So yes for me for a ball playing fullback. Matt dufty has the position...if he can pull it off.
 
Messages
2,907
Slightly off topic but does anyone else think dugans move to sharks might not work out all that well for him?
I think dugan loves playing that fullback role. Playing such an important role in the team, a spine player that makes a difference. He has been so important to the dragons and without him we will be a different team, no question.
Next year he will just be a center in a team full of talent. I think he might get a little bored actually.

I have heard a rumour he is trying to back out of the deal.
 

ALSGI

Bench
Messages
2,988
Slightly off topic but does anyone else think dugans move to sharks might not work out all that well for him?
I think dugan loves playing that fullback role. Playing such an important role in the team, a spine player that makes a difference. He has been so important to the dragons and without him we will be a different team, no question.
Next year he will just be a center in a team full of talent. I think he might get a little bored actually.
Agree with you crush if Mary was coach but I reckon Flanno's allready planned how to inject the Duges (pardon the pun).
 
Messages
2,907
Don't think you need increadable ball skills if you have pure speed.
If you can take the ball off the 1/2, 5/8 or centre and have the speed to run to the line you don't need to pass.

I like the idea of a fullback who can finish moves, not necessarily create them.
 

giboz71

First Grade
Messages
6,896
Quick look at the premiership winning fullbacks of the last 10 years, Slater, Boyd, Stewart, GI, Coote, Barba. They all could pass and had high try assist numbers their premiership years.

Minichello in 2013 was probably the only fullback who wasnt a natural passer but in a team that had Maloney, RTS, Jennings and SBW, he didn't need to be.

Not saying a fullback with a passing game is absolutely essential, but it certainly f##king helps.
 
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