What is the most important position in a team?

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What is the most important position?

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Total Votes : 22

What is the most important position in a team? Empty What is the most important position in a team?

Post by Schrodinger's Cat on Thu 02 Jun 2011, 11:39 am

After my previous article regarding which position is most challenging to play, I came to wonder which position is most vital to a team's success. Obviously the part of the point of rugby union is that you need different physiques and skills in different positions, but are they all equally important? My thoughts on this were focussed by the Magners League final last weekend. Three incidents caught my attention.

1) Ronan O'Gara takes a heavy knock. Munster are awarded a penalty, which O'Gara misses. Would he have got it if he hadn't taken the knock? Who knows, but obviously losing your place-kicker is a big blow.

2) Leinster's front row is changed. Munster score a penalty try due to scrum pressure. The scrum had been pretty even until then, so weakening the front row that was quite a blow.

3) Richardt Strauss moves from hooker to flanker, with little difference to the game (although he did used to play there).

For further clarification, I am not thinking of players that are so good that the loss of the player itself is a big blow. For example, any team losing Dan Carter would suffer. Rather I am thinking that if you had 15 players of roughly equally ability in the team and you lost one, who couldn't be replaced with someone nearly to the same level, which position would it be worst to lose? Or equally if you had to play with 14 men, which position would you miss most?

The poll is multiple choice if you think two or more positions are equally important.

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Post by red_stag on Thu 02 Jun 2011, 11:41 am

Completley impossible to say. Depends completely on the game in question. I didn't vote.
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Post by Adam D on Thu 02 Jun 2011, 11:42 am

I think it has to be scrum half surely.

He calls the play and distributes the pases from the ruck.

No doubt in my mind.

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Post by Schrodinger's Cat on Thu 02 Jun 2011, 11:46 am

Of course different games will have a bearing, but if you played an entire season without one position filled, which would be most damaging to lose on average?

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Thu 02 Jun 2011, 11:46 am

For me it's the 10 (with the 9 shortly behind). A decent 10 can cover up all manner of sins in the pack by kicking well, or alternatively translate scrum dominance into points. The 10 dictates the tactics and style of a side.

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Thu 02 Jun 2011, 11:52 am

Has to be the hooker.

If he has a bad day its unlikely the fly half will even touch the ball from the set peice which is almost certainly where the majority of attacking threat will come from.
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Post by funnyExiledScot on Thu 02 Jun 2011, 12:59 pm

That makes the 10 all the more important. If there's only limited ball, then the 10 is your only hope.

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Post by Ozzy3213 on Thu 02 Jun 2011, 1:19 pm

You build your team around your tighthead. Simple as that.
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Post by Mickado on Thu 02 Jun 2011, 1:22 pm

Tighthead. If your scrum is on skates then you can have Gareth Edwards playing 9 and Jesus playing at 10 but it won't matter a tap.

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Post by Thomond on Thu 02 Jun 2011, 1:24 pm

Kado,couldn't Jesus get the ball from anywhere though? I mean he has performed miracles....

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Post by red_stag on Thu 02 Jun 2011, 1:24 pm

I wonder how Munster managed to win 2 Heineken Cups and 3 Magners Leagues with John Hayes at tighthead Smile

Maybe he is better than made out.
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Post by thebandwagonsociety on Thu 02 Jun 2011, 1:32 pm

Usually the salaries are a good indication of the most important position in a team. So I would say that Outhalf and Tighthead are the two most important positions. Tighthead is the anchor for set pieces while the Outhalf so much of a game.

If a tighthead is poor, the entire pack has to pitch in and if an outhalf is poor, the scrumhalf usually tries to keep the ball away from him except where he is given specific tasks.

The next level of positions I think are scrum half, hooker, backrow, centres. Wingers, loosehead and second rows are one rung further down the ladder in my opinion.

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Post by MeanAsCustard on Thu 02 Jun 2011, 1:34 pm

Whoever is your kicker - be it the 10, 15 or even 2nd row (John Eales)!

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Post by Schrodinger's Cat on Thu 02 Jun 2011, 2:05 pm

In fairness Stag, Hayes may not be the best scrummager in the world, but he is decent. You may recall he played a major role in the penalty try against Leinster last weekend.

For what it's worth, I think that out half and tighthead are the most important. However, if there's no tighthead, it's uncontested scrums, so from that point of view out half (assuming he's the place-kicker) is more important as with no kicker and game manager you are in trouble.

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Post by red_stag on Thu 02 Jun 2011, 2:08 pm

@Schrodinger's Cat wrote:In fairness Stag, Hayes may not be the best scrummager in the world, but he is decent. You may recall he played a major role in the penalty try against Leinster last weekend.

I'm being tongue in cheek to those who constantly call him the worst prop around and useless. He was very good and against Ospreys too.
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Post by Schrodinger's Cat on Thu 02 Jun 2011, 2:16 pm

@red_stag wrote:
@Schrodinger's Cat wrote:In fairness Stag, Hayes may not be the best scrummager in the world, but he is decent. You may recall he played a major role in the penalty try against Leinster last weekend.

I'm being tongue in cheek to those who constantly call him the worst prop around and useless. He was very good and against Ospreys too.

My apologies, I thought there was a hint of seriousness to your comment.

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Post by mckay1402 on Thu 02 Jun 2011, 2:31 pm

there is no position more important than the rest. it's a team game and if you take out one member of the team it usually results in collapse.
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Post by funnyExiledScot on Thu 02 Jun 2011, 4:45 pm

"You build your team around your tighthead. Simple as that."

Australia have been a pretty decent side for the last decade with a scrum on skates.

I personally think the scrum can be over-emphasized, especially these days when most refs just toss a coin. In the old amateur days it was certainly different, but I can think of plenty sides that have won without a dominant tighthead. It's difficult, but if you have a pack that dominates in the loose, and a 9 and 10 able to dictate the tempo and tactics of the game, then you can still win.

If your 10 goes to pieces on the other hand, then both your ability to control territory and structure a half decent attack goes to bits.

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Post by emack2 on Thu 02 Jun 2011, 5:09 pm

Every position is important,The quote about tight head was by Danie Craven.In the years when the Boks and there 3-4-1 scrum was a lethal weapon.Setting of the Scrum was done properly,few collapses etc.Today,the Scrum is a mess,setting of,feeding of,collapsing of all are different now.I have`nt seen a decent Bok Prop since Os Du Randt.Hookers picked at Tight head,or for there mobility not there scrummaging ability.Few scrums these days too,England v Australia only three whole match,not one completed.

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Post by SB on Thu 02 Jun 2011, 6:33 pm

It's impossible to say.

Rugby is played by fifteen players who each have a specified role that fit into a framework. If one was deemed more important than the other then the framework would collapse.

A fly-half is the pivot who can put a team into good positions on the field through good tactical kicking. A tight-head prop can destroy the opposition scrum and gain both yards and penalties/free kicks. Or an openside flanker can make 20+ tackles in the game.

It's a silly and ultimately flawed question.
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Post by Dougie on Thu 02 Jun 2011, 9:03 pm

Standing at the bar ?

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Post by Schrodinger's Cat on Sat 04 Jun 2011, 3:39 pm

@SB wrote:
It's a silly and ultimately flawed question.

I disagree. Even if the conclusion is that each position is equally important, unless you ask the question you can't come to that conclusion. Sometimes just asking a question, even a silly question is a useful exercise - you never know what you might learn.

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