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Your choice - mercurial player or a steady pair of hands

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Your choice - mercurial player or a steady pair of hands Empty Your choice - mercurial player or a steady pair of hands

Post by TJ Tue 09 Feb 2016, 1:38 pm

Its very rare we get a player who is both a safe pair of hands and has that little something extra that dazzles the opposition. Many teams have a choice of players in critical positions such as half back where the choice is the steady pair of hands who makes few mistakes or the high risk mercurial guy who can unlock defences with a bit of sublime skill but who can also drop such clangers that we all cringe. Ie Cipriani or Farrell for England

Which is your choice? Would you go for the wayward talent or the safe pair of hands? Risk the mistakes for the scores they create or play safety first? The player who is a defensive wall but blunt in attack or the player who is great in attack but a revolving door in defence

Myself its the mercurial every day - but clearly from discussions on here many prefer the safer option

Cipriani or Farrell? Visser or Maitland?


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Post by lostinwales Tue 09 Feb 2016, 2:13 pm

It is all about combos. You want to have the mercurial player to break down the tough defense and you have to accept that the mercurial will sometimes only rarely offer something special. And you have to think how much are you going to be dependent on the mecurial talent. Do you have the ability to cover him making a howler (e.g. do you have a flanker who is fast enough to back up Ford in defense)

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Post by RubyGuby Tue 09 Feb 2016, 2:26 pm

We need a Mathew Morgan type to create the space for the giants - Its a risk but as it stands we're going nowhere but 4th in the world at best thumbsup

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Post by nganboy Fri 19 Feb 2016, 10:59 am

Keep demanding more from your players. Conrad Smith was an amazing defender and set up a huge number of tries with his straightening of the line. Ben Smith is a safe pair of hands with the high ball and can kick fairly well and runs some lovely lines and is always making breaks.
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Post by LondonTiger Fri 19 Feb 2016, 11:19 am

As a former back row forward (turned hooker in later years) there was nothing I hated more than having worked my Love sacks off to secure ball to get up and find the FH fecking it all up trying to be a fancy dan.

From my 9 & 10 i always rated consistency over flashes of genius as the former always kept you in with a shout of winning, but the latter always seemed tolose more games than it won. Further out I prefer to see creativity over a steady pair of hands - however I still expect the player to be able to do the basics.

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Post by fa0019 Fri 19 Feb 2016, 12:51 pm

depends on the position

Front five. - steady players all round. I'd go for set piece proficiency as paramount. Workers, ruckers and tacklers. I don't want guys who sit on fringes, guys who look for the carry or the steal.
Backrow - Its a balance. You want your 1 or 2 players who work on the edge here. Thats the nature of the game.

9 - 10.
10 has to be the best kicker available, it doesn't matter how good you are at running the ball, if you can't hit your kicks or you have no range in 50/50 matches you will lose more times than you win.  9 can be a little dazzling as long as the pack is strong, weaker packs need more disciplined SHs.

Other Backs.
Again a balance is needed. Good centre combinations are often a mixture. 1 mavarick, 1 steady eddy.
3/4s its more explainable to have arrogant gifty players who want the ball, that's what makes the best the best.

Its Carlos Spencer vs. Andrew Mehrtens written all over it anyhow

Steady eddy got double the amount of caps that Carlos got. Carlos could win matches on his own but Mehrtens kept NZ in matches they never should have. Probably right Mehrtens won.

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Post by Guest Fri 19 Feb 2016, 2:00 pm

1 per team is great to have. Any more and you have a circus!

Dare I mention the much hated midget that is Shane Williams: Wales were still pretty direct and 'Gatlandball' when he was still in the team (3 years under Gats), but Shane's moments of magic glossed over that somewhat. We often looked more like we were playing a more open game of running, offloading rugby because of him. But in reality we still had many of the same bish, bish play as now. It was just that Shane could change direction so quick, cut inside, beat a man cleanly (rather than through him and the messy breakdown it creates), break from his own 22 and set up things that the current crop of players do not have the ability to do.

With him = expansive Wales; without = Gatlandball! (I'm exaggerating a little perhaps, but losing a 'mercurial' can really drag a team down).

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Post by aucklandlaurie Fri 19 Feb 2016, 2:27 pm

fa0019 wrote:depends on the position

Front five. - steady players all round. I'd go for set piece proficiency as paramount. Workers, ruckers and tacklers. I don't want guys who sit on fringes, guys who look for the carry or the steal.
Backrow - Its a balance. You want your 1 or 2 players who work on the edge here. Thats the nature of the game.

9 - 10.
10 has to be the best kicker available, it doesn't matter how good you are at running the ball, if you can't hit your kicks or you have no range in 50/50 matches you will lose more times than you win.  9 can be a little dazzling as long as the pack is strong, weaker packs need more disciplined SHs.

Other Backs.
Again a balance is needed. Good centre combinations are often a mixture. 1 mavarick, 1 steady eddy.
3/4s its more explainable to have arrogant gifty players who want the ball, that's what makes the best the best.

Its Carlos Spencer vs. Andrew Mehrtens written all over it anyhow
Steady eddy got double the amount of caps that Carlos got. Carlos could win matches on his own but Mehrtens kept NZ in matches they never should have. Probably right Mehrtens won.


Right from the top reading this thread i was thinking of Carlos Spencer.

Spencer caused massive problems when he was playing here for the Blues, Sure he had brilliant athleticism, amazing ball skils etc but it accounted for nothing because he could nt put it into a fifteen man process.


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Post by profitius Fri 19 Feb 2016, 4:01 pm

You need a balance. Have too many steady Eddies and you turn into Ireland, very predictable!
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Post by fa0019 Fri 19 Feb 2016, 4:03 pm

profitius wrote:You need a balance. Have too many steady Eddies and you turn into Ireland, very predictable!

South Africa have won 2 world cups with 15 steady eddies a piece.

Maybe Joost in 95. Maybe Habana, Frans Steyn in 07.

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Post by profitius Fri 19 Feb 2016, 4:16 pm

fa0019 wrote:
profitius wrote:You need a balance. Have too many steady Eddies and you turn into Ireland, very predictable!

South Africa have won 2 world cups with 15 steady eddies a piece.

Maybe Joost in 95. Maybe Habana, Frans Steyn in 07.


They wouldnt bosh their way to one now with 15 steady eddies. Other teams have closed the physical gap and the elv's has changed things too.
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Post by fa0019 Fri 19 Feb 2016, 4:36 pm

profitius wrote:
fa0019 wrote:
profitius wrote:You need a balance. Have too many steady Eddies and you turn into Ireland, very predictable!

South Africa have won 2 world cups with 15 steady eddies a piece.

Maybe Joost in 95. Maybe Habana, Frans Steyn in 07.


They wouldnt bosh their way to one now with 15 steady eddies. Other teams have closed the physical gap and the elv's has changed things too.

SA were leading NZ at half time and lost by what 4 points in the end. That was as close as anyone got to beating NZ.

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Post by Notch Wed 24 Feb 2016, 9:13 am

Steady pair of hands. A mercurial player is not the same as a flair player necessarily. What you'll notice about the All Blacks these days is their "mercurial" players are also incredibly reliable. No, a mercurial player is the guy with the big downside who keeps getting picked because he also has a massive upside. For instance Matawalu is mercurial, whereas Aaron Smith is just good. Both can cut open defences but only the first one is just as likely to do something which blows up in the face of his own team. I would rather have a steady player that you know what you'll get from him every game than a player whose basics let them down or who makes rash decisions which hurt you...

What I'd love is if every player in the 15 had the skill set to play any kind of rugby, from 9-man or 10-man kicking rugby in the rain to flowing attacking rugby which uses a range of passing and offloads to keep the ball out of the ruck for as long as possible. But in Ireland we normally don't have players that fundamentally have that skill set coming through the system. Even O'Driscoll didn't have the passing game you would have wanted for a player of that stature... so for us its normally a choice between the steady guy without the skill set or the flawed, attack-minded player. I'd go with steady 9 times out of 10.
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Post by wayne Wed 24 Feb 2016, 9:56 am

In a way, we've made that decision twice (Ospreys) with the Biggar over Hook selection first, and then Dan's preference over Mathew Morgan, and to be honest the right decision was made both times. The control that Dan has over a game is far more, than either of those other 2 put together. What will be interesting is how Sam Davies keeps on developing, he is quicker than Dan and tries more breaks, but at the moment he makes far too many mistakes for the ultimate decision to be made, I just hope we can hang onto both for the next 5 years or so.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Wed 24 Feb 2016, 11:34 am

Well I would have said flashy fly half...but our signing of Andy Goode has shown that calm at the eye of the storm is vital.... Very Happy

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Post by RubyGuby Wed 24 Feb 2016, 11:37 am

I prefer the steady mercurial types myself (on the field of course) thumbsup

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Post by gavstar Fri 26 Feb 2016, 1:35 pm

as they say in the lottery ' you've got to be in it to win it ' and steady will keep you in it. lets look further than the 10. if dan is kicking all the points, creating chances kicking high, off loading the catch, controlling where we play on the field, excellent in defence, then the mercurial needs to be else where in the team. we need creativity from centres and wings. Mathew morgan at 10 would be a disaster........especially for his confidence....nailing all those kicks, running the game AND BEING MERCURIAL. !!!!!
When jiffy was campaigning for hook over dan and people mentioned hooks minus points as opposed to the plus, jiffy said 'there 's too much concentration on what players can't do rather than what they can, lets concentrate on what they bring to the game not what they don't '
Well jiffy, lets apply that to dan shall we. and at the moment his list of 'Can Do' is measurably longer than any other 10.......and the '' Cant Do list' much shorter.

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Post by Shifty Fri 26 Feb 2016, 4:21 pm

Neil Jenkins or Arwel Thomas?
Jenkins every time for me. thumbsup
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