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Looks like there's still a role for a true 7

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Looks like there's still a role for a true 7 Empty Looks like there's still a role for a true 7

Post by littlejohn Mon 10 Oct 2011, 9:35 pm

There's been some debate on the need for a true ball hunting 7 vs ball carriers aka Sean o'brien over the last few months, and having watched the quarters and I'm in no doubt the roll is more important than ever.

Ireland, England and Argentina among others have persisted with so called 6.5s, I'd hesitatingly put South Africa in this bracket but Schalk is an awesome all rounder, and France who don't have the concept of open/blind side so we'll see how that works against Wales.

Its time the ther nations pay attention to developing true 7s and stop with the hybrid backrowers.

England had the likes of Rees, Steffon Armitage and Lipman who have not been supported by management, likewise with Ireland you have the likes of Jennings and Johnny O'Connor (remember him? still a legend playing savage stuff for connaught!). Scotland have long forgotton about the merits of a ball hunting, turnover generating, outhalf destroying 7. These days teams are looking for a player who offers a balance of been a lineout option, having a running game, ability to tackle like a blindside with the result that the more traditional skillsets of a 7 and downgraded.

I'll end the gripe here, and instead i'm looking forward to watching 3 teams in the semis with true 7s battle it out. Coincidence or not? I for one think not.






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Post by Oxford Welsh Mon 10 Oct 2011, 10:11 pm

Schalk is a blindside. SA just give 6 to the openside and 7 to blind. Broussow is the open and he's pretty specialist !

O'Brien is indeed a 6 but with Ferris coming back Ireland fell into the trap of wanting all their best on the field at the same time. Once Wallace was injured there was no 7 I guess.

I always said the Irish win vs Australia was only possible once Pocock was missing from the match.

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Post by niwatts Mon 10 Oct 2011, 10:27 pm

Re the England 7s, I certainly would have liked Armitage to have been given more opportunities, though to be fair when he was in the set up he had a noticable loss of form, so was sent back to his club.

Rees was very much backed by the management, but he has been plagued by injuries, I don't think he's been fit for more than a month for the last three years.

Lipman was never a scavenging 7, nonetheless he was firmly in the picture until his concussion, then he got in trouble with the drug scandal and opposed to serving his 9 months ban left the country.


The problem in England over the last few years has been a severe lack of true 7s to choose from. A couple of young ones might be emerging, but are still a season or two off being effective.

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Post by wales606 Mon 10 Oct 2011, 11:45 pm

Very few nations seem to have a 'proper' 7 any more, in fact, I can only think of

NZ - McCaw
Aus - Pocock
SA - Brussow
Wales - Warburton
Scotland - Barclay (sort of)

Some nations have regular 7s who dont really play the 7 role,

Ireland - Wallace
England - Moody
Italy - M.Bergamasgo
Argentina - Leguizamon

Other have more 6.5s

France - Dusatoir
Ireland - O'Brien
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Post by Glas a du Tue 11 Oct 2011, 6:53 am

Jennings for Ireland!
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Post by George Carlin Tue 11 Oct 2011, 7:31 am

Pocock made 26 tackles and played a major part in forcing the 12 turnovers that the Saffers conceded, to say nothing of the penalties.

Of course a specialist 7 is necessary - it always is. Anyone who says you don't need a forager, fetcher and link player doesn't understand loose forward play.

For the umpteenth time, if we are speaking about players in traditional roles, O'Brien is not an openside and THAT'S OKAY. He's an exceptional blindside and his link and foraging play will improve with experience - he's only a youngfeller. Ireland have had Wallace play well in that fetcher role for so many years that they've taken it for granted.

I would add Ross Rennie for Scotland to the list of true quality specialists.
Barclays has always been a specialist 7, incidentally.
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Post by doctornickolas Tue 11 Oct 2011, 7:40 am

wales606 wrote:Very few nations seem to have a 'proper' 7 any more, in fact, I can only think of

NZ - McCaw
Aus - Pocock
SA - Brussow
Wales - Warburton
Scotland - Barclay (sort of)

Some nations have regular 7s who dont really play the 7 role,

Ireland - Wallace
England - Moody
Italy - M.Bergamasgo
Argentina - Leguizamon

Other have more 6.5s

France - Dusatoir
Ireland - O'Brien


Noticeable though that, other than Scotland, the teams with a 7 are currently ranked 1 - 4 in the world.

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Post by Thomond Tue 11 Oct 2011, 7:48 am

Jennings has failed to step up to the mark for Ireland any time he has played. Hence the reason why he doesn't start.

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Post by Mickado Tue 11 Oct 2011, 8:27 am

Jennings was awful against the US, just because he’s a specialist doesn’t mean he can cut it at international level.
Munster won 2 HC’s without a “proper 7”, Ireland won a GS without a “proper 7”, yes it cost us this time and looking at the 4 teams left in the competition 3 of them have a traditional 7 but plenty of teams have been successful without one, I think this is just pure coincidence. Juan Smith played a 6.5 role when SA won the World cup in 07 for example.

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Post by Guest Tue 11 Oct 2011, 8:39 am

Here's a thought: Why don't teams play with 2 7s??? Is the role of the traditional 6 more important than the benefits of having two fetchers on the park?

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Post by wales606 Tue 11 Oct 2011, 10:11 am

Griff wrote:Here's a thought: Why don't teams play with 2 7s??? Is the role of the traditional 6 more important than the benefits of having two fetchers on the park?

Some 6s do play part of a 7s role - Lydiate for an example is more of a 6.5.
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Post by tomathy Tue 11 Oct 2011, 12:13 pm

wales606 wrote:
Griff wrote:Here's a thought: Why don't teams play with 2 7s??? Is the role of the traditional 6 more important than the benefits of having two fetchers on the park?

Some 6s do play part of a 7s role - Lydiate for an example is more of a 6.5.

2003 final - the four flankers that started were hill, back, george smith and phil waugh. all played seven for their clubs.
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Post by englandglory4ever Tue 11 Oct 2011, 2:07 pm

I agree with the OP 100%. Successful sides need a fast strong 7 in the fetcher mode. Someone who gets to the breakdown, puts his head in and wins the ball. Forget all this crap about 'linking' 7s. A 7 must first win the ball for their team. Its Numero Uno on their list of things to do. That's why they position themselves on the open side for goodness sake.

With that said what the heck was Moody doing or bringing to the team by merely jogging from breakdown to breakdown and hanging off the side of the ruck?

A good 7 needs to be supremely fit and able to run and run. Give us a proper 7 every time.

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Post by englandglory4ever Tue 11 Oct 2011, 2:16 pm

Griff wrote:Here's a thought: Why don't teams play with 2 7s??? Is the role of the traditional 6 more important than the benefits of having two fetchers on the park?

Yes a good hard tackling, hard running ball carrying 6 is crucial. No point in having 2 x 7s.

7s position themselves on the open-side at scrums and generally towards the back of the lineout. This means that if your 7 is working hard he will get to the breakdowns before your 6 by several yards. Your 6 can then either help at the breakdown or be there to carry strongly if quick ball is available. For this reason a 7 does not have to be a huge man although it helps. Pocock and McCaw do the job well at international level although one is much smaller than the other.

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Post by Cymroglan Tue 11 Oct 2011, 2:19 pm

Also a 7 must be fearless getting his hands on that ball is his main priority.

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Post by George Carlin Wed 12 Oct 2011, 9:51 am

Blindsides have to be a brick wall/daisy cutter first and foremost.

Look at O'Brien, Smith, Kaino, and Kelly Brown.

Best of the lot remains Richard Hill.
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