Who were Australia's most creative players? - Green and Gold Rugby
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Who were Australia’s most creative players?

Who were Australia’s most creative players?

For those who have clicked on this headline expecting another detailed analysis of statistics, ala our hometown reffing article earlier this week, to discover who is definitively Australia’s most creative player, then my apologies.  Although I must admit that article inspired this one.

After numerous laborious hours of spread-sheeting and formulating, I needed a break.  And thankfully that break came in the form of a direct message to the GAGR facebook page.  Make no mistake, we get plenty of those and most of them are asking for support in promoting certain clubs or activities.  We can’t support them all but this one caught my eye.

You see this one was from a gentleman by the name of Carl Marshall and Carl, in his own words, is from the School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and he’s doing a PhD into the development of creativity in rugby union.

HOW ABOUT THAT!????

Some of you may recognise the name Carl Marshall as he’s been around the rugby traps for a while with coaching stints at Brothers Rugby Club in Brisbane, with the Australian Under 20s and has recently been appointed as head Coach of Wests (home of Filipo Daugunu, Hunter Paisami, Carter Gordon and Moses Sorovi).

And Carl is after our help! Basically his study is to look at how our most creative players became so damn creative.  So obviously the first step in such an endeavor is to work out our most creative players.  Carl has compiled a list 40 options for you to consider and rank in the hope that we will help him come up with a top 20.  If he has missed anyone there is the opportunity for you to include them.  And then Carl will take it from there and hopefully we can report back on his findings on GAGR.

In the meantime, click on this link

To help you get in the mood, why not take a trip down memory lane with these awesome Wallaby videos the great Scott Allen put together for us years ago (which have seemingly since been transferred over to The Roar).

The study has been approved by the QUT Human Research Ethics Committee (approval number 1900001131).

 

 

  • Ian

    Either Campo or Larkham, Maybe an Ella or Two?

    But define creative? are we talking about creating opportunity for all (if so Larkham) or creating scores off your own skill set, for themselves (Campese).

    • Christopher

      And does accuracy count/failed attempts – a la Quade/Beale.

      • Ian

        What about Eales, was the chief on field strategist during our most successful period, so does his strategic creativity give the crown to him?

        • Ian

          Ben Darwin is a pottery enthusiast, does that mean he is most creative?

        • Christopher

          You were being helpful…..

      • Neil Pocock

        After 4 super rugby rounds last year Quade Cooper had set up 20 tries(from memory) that were sure things that we’re bombed by his Rebels teammates. That was more tries than ALL the competitions teams together!

    • RugbyReg

      sometimes it’s just as easy to click on the link….

      “‘Creativity’ is defined as the ‘generation of a variety of solutions which are often surprising in specific circumstances’. It is important to note that authentic creativity can only be expressed through offensive game situations and not defensive ones.”

      • Ian

        I see that now, perhaps tell us where the link goes, In the meantime click on this link is a little different to “Carls survey can be reached via this link:”

        In the meantime tells me, “until that is available” I Assumed it was just an associated article on a similar topic.

        • RugbyReg

          sorry for the massive inconvenience

        • Ian

          I was just explaining why I made the mistake, re-reading it, it makes sense also. I did think it was weird that you were talking about a list, that we will have access too soon, so my error for not re-reading.

          I did the survey, I appreciate your content. Lets keep the snarkyness in reserve until June when the Warratahs fans inevitably complain about Wallabies selections.

        • HK Red

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEt-TfB5amI

          Paste the above into a browser

      • laurence king

        I understand that the researcher is looking for those aspects of creativity that pertain to offensive solutions, however, I think that creativity indeed can be and is found in defensive situations as a player/players respond intuitively to the unique requirements of circumstance.

        • Ads

          Exhibit A – the double tackle.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEt-TfB5amI

        • laurence king

          Yeh, thanks Ads, I was thinking specifically of that piece, read my mind. it was an amazing piece of defense and a perfect illustration of a creative solution in defense.

        • Who?

          Video unavailable to be embedded..?
          But, from memory, wasn’t that poor technique? He put his head in front of the defender, increasing the risk of knocking himself out…. Wasn’t the only time an Aussie centre used that technique in that era, either.
          The head in front of the knees is also seemingly common technique in gridiron. Which shows it isn’t a great defensive technique for saving one’s head.

        • Ads

          Hey Who. Link worked for me. Try pasting it maybe. It’s the one where he basically tackles two blokes at once with unconventional, but effective technique.

        • Who?

          I can see it, I could open it in YouTube, just odd that it’s not permitted to be viewed embedded in other websites.
          .
          I know the tackle, the technique’s not sound, as he has his head in front of the ball carrier where he can cop a knee to the face. If I were coaching and a kid did that, I’d praise his efforts but try to coach that technique out, as it’s poor technique. You don’t put your face in front of the player, you get your cheek (face) to the other player’s cheek (butt).

        • Ads

          Without wanting to speak for Laurence, I think his point was sometimes an unorthodox approach can be more creative and have a better result than a traditional orthodox technique does. That’s what that tackle did for me. AAC was a reasonable defender in general if I recall correctly. I think he knew what he was doing and pulled off an effective unorthodox try-saving tackle(s). The risk of a knee to the head was low as he was coming from the side at height in this example.

        • Who?

          I’ve got to apologize, I thought you meant another AAC try saver where he similarly managed to knock two Bokke into touch. With that one, my issue with it is that it’s not unorthodox, it’s far too common. As mentioned, he wasn’t the only Wallaby defender I saw doing exactly that in the era (Fainga’a, Horne). I believe NFL coaches teach it because their players wear helmets and because the head can knock the ball free.
          .
          In terms of this one, given it was two high tackles at once, I’m pretty confident that under the current rules he’d have been on the bench the rest of the game, and the next six weeks. Even at the time, I was staggered that Nigel didn’t penalize him (above the armpit, has been a penalty for years). But the thinking, to force the pass by making contact (implying a tackle) with Mvovo and whilst targeting JdV was definitely creative.

        • Ian

          Brings a teardrop to the pants that video does.

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    This will be an interesting study. The game has changed so much over the years but by god that’s just great rugby to watch

  • laurence king

    A couple of things that seemed common to me in the videos were that all the players had such a familiarity with each other and hence, an understanding of their team mates both with the ball in hand and those looking to receive it. Also it seemed to me that all the players had such a wonderful awareness of space and had the skill to both create it, and take advantage when it presented itself. These aspects are absolutely necessary in both attack and defense and provide the platform for creative decisions in the various circumstances as they arrive.

    • Neil Pocock

      Agree….. too many players these days are “athletes” turned into rugby players….. not natural rugby players foremost!

      • laurence king

        It’s a temptation isn’t it. But the thing is, there’s lots of big fit blokes around, but skillful players are what really thrills the spectator imo. And also what appeals to me, an ordinary looking guy with skill and nous can put it over the athlete, and I think that must appeal to most players because not to many of us look like Greek gods, because most of us look like geek bods.

  • Keith Butler

    Rugby was so simple back in the 80s. Forwards win ball and backs score tries with the odd bit of crisp inter passing between the two thrown. Can’t say it was a pleasure but I saw the 84 Wallabies twice at Twickenham. Jeez they were good and Mark Ella just magic. Game has moved forward since the – or has it? Showing my age but I know which era I prefer.

    • laurence king

      Loved watching Ella, thrilled by Campo and everything was done at such a pace and with panache. Plus the coordination between the players often created these tries that were ensemble in nature. A player would do something thrilling, and then another would take it on, and then another.

  • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

    What about our previous national coach and his ‘creative’ excuses for his shithouse record?

  • Pedro

    George Smith – most creative player I’ve seen. Larkham, close second.

  • Who?

    Great concept!
    But man it’s hard to be involved with it when you’re too young to remember anything from actual games involving half the players… I’ve read histories, and I was alive the entire time of the survey, but I don’t recall enough to make many selections pre-2000. Because highlight reels are highlight reels – they don’t show the day to day level of creativity of a player.
    .
    It’s a shame we can’t have an abbreviated form of the survey, for those who’d like to contribute but can’t give justifiable examples for anything before 1990, 2000, 2010. Because it’s a great study, and I look forward to seeing what comes out of it.
    .
    Eek – just noticed, we’ve got Toomua on there (misspelt), but no Leali’ifano, and more tellingly (going off Wallaby caps, which dwarf’s the Ella’s count), no Foley………

  • Adam Bonner

    I wonder what a 40-man short list of the most creative All Blacks would look like. For one, I think you would see a lot more forwards. Creativity doesn’t just exist in the backline and you would have to argue that the historic gap in skill between the All Blacks forwards and any other team is far greater than the gap in skill between their back line and others.

    Most international teams have back lines that could skin you on their day, but few forward packs have had the type of creativity you often see from the likes of Coles, Retallick, and Read and going back as far as Zinzan Brooke.

    I think this is a really cool study and obviously Carl has determined his scope for a reason, but if it was the Wallabies commissioning a study you would want to see how to build some creativity into your forward pack.

  • Neil Pocock

    If creativity is what you want….. the simple realistic answer is get QUADE Cooper into the mix. He’s the most creative freak of a player since Carlos Spencer, and loves taking young guys under his wing!
    I couldn’t think of a more needed thing in the current wallaby camp than some actual hands on experience for the crop of obviously highly talented playmakers we see coming through atm.
    I’ve mentioned this before but I think Rennie could do far worse than get Quade into the Wallaby setup, not only to provide what the young guys need but to actually still play if needed as he’s still in form and playing exceptional rugby. Most forget but Quade was actually our GNGR voted 10 last year and saw no wallaby duties.
    So yeah…. You want Creativity…. QUADE Cooper!

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@RugbyReg

The original prop in a prop's body, but thankfully I have the rugby mind of a prop as well.

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