Joey or Thurston, who is GOAT?

Discussion in 'NRL' started by Saintsified, Sep 3, 2018.

  1. JJ

    JJ Referee

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    Nah, several commentators have said Thurston is the greatest player ever... I find that bizarre, given he's not IMO even the greatest of this generation - as above, that's Smith...
     
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  2. Bazal

    Bazal Post Whore

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    I think it's closer than others seem to...as I said, Thurston is the best player I've seen, but that obviously takes into account a lot of things that are going to bias that opinion towards a certain kind of player. I like watching attacking footy players, for starters, and I appreciate what it means to be as good as he was in a mediocre squad for so long. Smith has been surrounded by an excellent (and not always legal) squad his entire career.

    That being said, Smith is close in the discussion of the BEST player. I don't think he's within cooee in a discussion of the GREATEST player though personally. Greatness takes into account a lot of other things that a bloke like Smith seems to lack...he's seemingly pretty widely regarded as a piece of work.

    Of course, that's only my individual take.
     
  3. Tommy Smith

    Tommy Smith Coach

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    Huh?

    The exact same team after Freddy retired didn't even make the finals. We were very average.

    And before he joined we were a joke of a team that hadn't made the finals in years.

    But in his 9 seasons at the club we made the top 6 every year; including 5 Prelims, 4 GFs and a Premierships.

    Freddy was neck and neck with Joey as the dominant club player between 2000-2004 and it wasn't even close to the next guy.

    The teams he led were no more star studded than the one that JT has just avoided the spoon with this year and had the luxury of playing in the past 5 or so years.
     
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  4. Tommy Smith

    Tommy Smith Coach

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    What are these mediocre squads JT carried you speak of?

    The ones with Matt Bowen, Aaron Payne, Matt Scott, Luke O'Donnell, Matt Sing, Willie Tonga, Paul Bowman, Gavin Cooper, Tariq Sims, James Tamou, Michael Morgan, Jason Taumalolo and so on.

    And if you're referring to the period roughly around 2006-2014 how far exactly did he really carry them?

    What was it, 1 Prelim in 9 seasons?
     
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  5. Bazal

    Bazal Post Whore

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    The ones where he was partnered with the likes of Grant Rovelli and Robert Lui.

    How far do you think those squads would have gone without Thurston? Just because he couldn't single-handedly drag them to a premiership doesn't mean he didn't carry them
     
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  6. beave

    beave Coach

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    The 08-10 NQ side were f**king abysmal. Jesus Christ himself wouldn’t have been able drag that sorry bunch from the bottom of the table.
     
  7. JJ

    JJ Referee

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    Without checking in detail, I'm just calling bullshit on that - the Cowboys were perennial underachievers, and Thurston was only the Churchill medal winner because of this same media bullshit, and then he was hurt and they made the GF on the back of Morgan and Taumalolo, and then he returns and they are saved from the spoon by a disgraceful Eels and Sea Eagles.

    He's a great player, no mistake, and he's been great off the field as well - but this carrying the Cowboys is a bit revisionist IMO - perhaps Simon Mannering should be in the GOAT debate, he's a great guy too, and without him busting his arse tirelessly for years the Warriors would have quite a collection of spoons. Thurston's success has been when he's surrounded by very string teams - funny that... so was Johns, Fittler, Sterling etc etc - league is a team game
     
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  8. JJ

    JJ Referee

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    And did Thurston?
     
  9. Lambretta

    Lambretta First Grade

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    Yeah, but people say any old bollocks to fill air time in the heat of the moment

    I love those American commentators who get really specific with their praise

    "oh in a third down situation on his own 17 yard line when the opposition sets up in zone defence and there are two tight ends in play and they fake the wildcat, there is no better second man blocker to create a hole for a running back to gain 4 yards and 3 and a half inches needed for a first down in the league"

    "oh I agree, but only on a Monday in a Western time zone"

    "well of course"
     
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  10. beave

    beave Coach

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    No. Hard to soar high when you are surrounded by turkeys.
     
  11. Todd Hoffman

    Todd Hoffman Juniors

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    Thurston.
     
  12. JJ

    JJ Referee

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    So, exactly - he never dragged any weak squads to great success - and I am not sure any of the other players mentioned did either - he made the choice to head to Townsville and it paid off for him in a range of ways, including on the field when they built a very strong team - but it's a myth that it was all on him...
     
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  13. Bazal

    Bazal Post Whore

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    Well given Thurston lead the try assists for the NRL, I think it only goes to strengthen the point. Even when surrounded by utter dross (or, as was the case this year, decimated by injuries) he has consistently been an outstanding player.

    Given that I for one raised the point as a comparison to Smith and Slater, who have been spoonfed for their entire careers, I think it only strengthens the major reason Thurston is being spoken about as the better player by many
     
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  14. JJ

    JJ Referee

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    Yep, fair point - but Smith and Slater have made absolute spastics (Lowrie, Nielsen, several others) look like decent players - so much so that other clubs signed them, and seemed excited (as a Warriors fan I guess I am bitter)
     
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  15. Bazal

    Bazal Post Whore

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    You seem to think that carrying a side means to success, and nothing else.

    Thurston was everything to the Cowboys for years. Despite that, he never burnt out, he showed immense loyalty and toughness to have the career he did and eventually have a big hand in delivering NQ a premiership. He carried the team on his back at times.

    You said yourself, league is a team game. Why would you then expect any single player to carry a side to success?
     
  16. JJ

    JJ Referee

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    Others had said he had... anyway, he's great, but much as Joey is a merkin he's simply the better half IMO - he could do everything better than JT on the field... JT's next IMO with Sterlo among the 7's I've seen
     
  17. Lambretta

    Lambretta First Grade

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    Do you remember those stats which the papers loved to print about how many games Newcastle won when Johns played vs when he didn't?

    Look at those same stats for games where Freddy played vs when he didn't

    If Freddy was out, we lost. Almost every time. It didn't matter how f**king rubbish the opposition was. Freddy out meant we were done. From memory it was about 85% of games lost when he was missing from the team. Whatever the stat, we were rubbish without him.

    I think many, many people under estimate just how good Freddy was and what an influence he had
     
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  18. beave

    beave Coach

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    It was never all on him or about him for mine. Blame the media diatribe for all the hooplah.

    The 2015 team was the perfect balance of youthful enthusiasm (feldt, Taumalolo, Asiata, Lowe), journeymen and cast offs given another shot (Hannant,Granville, Kosty, Coote, Winters, O’neill) and the long time guys burnt by the past (Scott, JT, Linnett, Cooper, Bolton).

    All were important in their own way. JT won them a few games during the regular season (Storm, Raiders especially). Without the rest of the squad, we wouldn’t have won the comp in 2015.

    Johns also had great teams around him during the GF’s. He also had some hometown emotion in 97 driving the whole team with the closure of some heavy industry in Newcastle. Very similar to Tvl in 2015 (QLD nickel), I draw a lot of similiarity with the 2 GF’s tbh. Both amazing in their own right.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
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  19. JJ

    JJ Referee

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    Yeah interesting - both those guys had quality lineups around them, but in their absence the teams became ruddlerless (especially Newcastle even though they had a Rudder).
     
  20. Tommy Smith

    Tommy Smith Coach

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    Fittler's biggest crime is that he didn't play in the 'Hyperbole Era' where every week someone else is the GoaT.

    Ermagherd GOATT!!!!

    I swear ESPN spend half their airtime debating who is da GoaT between MJ and LeBron. And that trash clickbait junk has filtered down to the NRL.

    Imagine if Freddy's performance in the 2000 Prelim vs Newcastle happened today. A big half time deficit then in the 2nd half plays the best footy I've ever seen - a 30m left to right bullet pass for a try; an intercept try off of a Joey pass; then a 30m right to left bullet pass for a try.

    Or what about the 2002 GF where he completely dominated; setting up 4 of 5 tries and kicking the crucial 40/20. And yet he didn't even win the CCM lol Purely because there was no media and NRL driven GoaT obsession.

    Contrast that with JT who played like a drunk for 79 minutes of the 2015 GF but won the CCM.

    And that's not a knock on JT. Who is one of my favourite players ever and a definite Immortal imo.

    It's more to highlight how this 'Hyperbole culture' has elevated the game's contemporary greats above and beyond the greats from the previous generation or two.
     

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