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What characteristics make for a good nine?

fatprop

Jason Little (69)
Staff member
Let me emphasise, this ain't/won't be a hate thread

I watched the game last night and thought Phipps did quite well, quick to the breakdown, got the ball moving, good pass, took some good options - when he had them and drove the forwards.

I then get on the board to review opinions and it appears I am near alone in in that opinion.

So, I am just trying to get my head around the areas/characteristics of a nine that I am missing.
 
T

TOCC

Guest
No you are not alone..

Phipps was my MOM last night as per the Wallabies MOM thread...
he delivered good service, and he also provided a reliable sweeping defence which defies his previously 'questionable tackling ability'
 

Slim 293

Nathan Sharpe (72)
I'm sorry, but Phipps pass is terrible for a halfback.

He's got very poor technique, so by the time he picks up the ball and does his big sluggish swing the defence has advanced significantly.

He's also very hesitant in his decision making.

I won't get into the other negative aspects of his game as that's not what the thread is about, but the Wobs will be much better off with Sheehan starting on the spring tour.
 

wamberal

Nick Farr-Jones (63)
It always amuses me at the depth of knowledge that is on show from the bored's experts.


How can the coach and selectors get it so wrong, so often? Phipps is not a great half, but he is the best we have at the moment.
 

cyclopath

Stirling Mortlock (74)
Staff member
I thought Phipps got there quickly enough, but his pass does not sweep quickly once he picks up the ball, as Slim says, there is a pause in the actual delivery each time which gives defence time to advance.
I agree his defence work was good.
My ideal - defends like Burgess, snipes and passes like Genia, gets there and gets the ball as quickly as Phipps (Genia a bit ponderous at times), kicks like White.
Should be simple to find!
 
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Slim 293

Nathan Sharpe (72)
It always amuses me at the depth of knowledge that is on show from the bored's experts.


How can the coach and selectors get it so wrong, so often? Phipps is not a great half, but he is the best we have at the moment.

I don't think anyone is denying that we're missing our two best halfbacks.
 
T

TOCC

Guest
Sheehan as starting half would be a bad move.. if the Wallabies get a roll on or make a break Sheehan will be 10m behind still trying to catch up..

His injection last night suited the game at the time, but i wouldn't want him to start.
 

fatprop

Jason Little (69)
Staff member
Sheehan as starting half would be a bad move.. if the Wallabies get a roll on or make a break Sheehan will be 10m behind still trying to catch up..

His injection last night suited the game at the time, but i wouldn't want him to start.

If the game was to be played in the wet and ankle deep mud, I would play him in a heart beat.

Just not on a dry track with the goal of quick ball.
 

Scarfman

Knitter of the Scarf
I don't understand how a guy like Phipps even made it to province level. Makes poor decisions, has a horrible step-pass. Throws behind the player (which is also the receiving player's fault - Beale - for not sorting him out at training or in the first half).

He's not the worst I've seen, but for me, entry level is the ability to clear a ruck with a snap pass in front of the man. There's quite a few guys running around at club level who can do that. In fact, this is an ability that seems to peter out as you get to state and national level, as coaches seem pick 9s for their x-factor.
 

I like to watch

David Codey (61)
Sheehan as starting half would be a bad move.. if the Wallabies get a roll on or make a break Sheehan will be 10m behind still trying to catch up..

His injection last night suited the game at the time, but i wouldn't want him to start.
I believe the reverse is true. Sheehan's strength is around the ruck directing traffic with the pigs. He is physical and helps out the pigs with stong defence.
Later in the game when you are expecting the game to open up, is the time to replace him.
 

Hairy Test Eagle

Ward Prentice (10)
I love Sheehan's niggle and aggression but he lacks some of the more essential halfback qualities. It would be good to see some of the younger 9's get a run in the EOYT.
 

Hugh Jarse

Rocky Elsom (76)
Staff member
According to most Selection Templates, the position specific requirements for a #9 are:
Service from scrum, lineout and general play in both directions
Kicking
Handling of pressure
Putting pressure on his opposition
Blindside work in attack & defence
Communication with forwards
Field vision
Decision making
Communication with forwards & backs
Organisation skills
 
T

TOCC

Guest
I believe the reverse is true. Sheehan's strength is around the ruck directing traffic with the pigs. He is physical and helps out the pigs with stong defence.
Later in the game when you are expecting the game to open up, is the time to replace him.

but the game last night wasn't opening up..... the wallabies went through 20 phases of pick and drive....
Phipps was making stupid decisions at the end of last night like taking a box kick and putting it out on the full...
Composure is needed if the game is close, not a 'hit or miss' type player...
 

swingpass

John Thornett (49)
the box kick was badly executed but probably the right decision. only white of all our super half backs can box kick, genia's field kicking is pretty good at S15 level. i think phipps is pretty good, gets to the breakdown quickly, tackles well, generally takes the right option, but i agree the pass could/should be crisper without the windup.
 
T

TOCC

Guest
the box kick was badly executed but probably the right decision. only white of all our super half backs can box kick, genia's field kicking is pretty good at S15 level. i think phipps is pretty good, gets to the breakdown quickly, tackles well, generally takes the right option, but i agree the pass could/should be crisper without the windup.

So Phipps, a player renowned for inaccuracies in his box kicking went for a box kick when he was 5m from the sideline with the game on the line..... Sounds like a bad decision to me.. Smart players will play their strengths, not their weaknesses...
 

The_Brown_Hornet

Nick Farr-Jones (63)
For me the mandatory attributes for a good halfback are a quick snappy pass from the ruck/scrum base, the ability to make a dart around the fringes of the ruck, the ability to defend the oppositions forays in the same manner, communication/direction with the pack and five-eighth and the vision to assess and direct play in the heat of battle (aka a cool head and good tactical brain).
 

Scarfman

Knitter of the Scarf
Look at a halfback's pass/run/kick stats. It shows how important the pass is. You can't make up for a bad pass with good other stuff. If the pass isn't sharp, then he/she is off my list.

Rugby is all about front foot ball. Pull the ball out of the ruck at juuust the right moment and snap it in front of the receiver while the bad guys are still backpedalling. It's a simple game, but so many top flight players don't seem to understand the fundamentals.
 

hawktrain

Ted Thorn (20)
From my experiences of a few years playing halfback, and from watching, I'd say:

- passing, obviously.
- various kicks from the base of the ruck, and also from 8-9 plays.
- communication (most important trait, I'd take a halfback with an okay pass but great communication over a great pass but only decent communication)
- organisational skill in attack and defence
- being able to read the game (e.g. knowing when to move into the defensive line, and when to stay just behind the ruck in the pocket, attacking options etc)
- fitness
- ability to be a general pest (disrupting opposition ball, unsettling opposition players, causing turnovers etc)
- ability to get themselves out of trouble and work with bad ball (really underrated part of halfback play, being able to move in traffic and still get passes away, and how they get around bad ball. Tawera Kerr Barlow is excellent at this, he's great in traffic)
- communication with the referee
- speed off the mark, so if they spot a half-gap around the ruck they can turn it into a linebreak
 
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