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Who are The Finest Halfbacks in the Game

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The Greatest Halfbacks ? ? ?

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Total Votes : 46
 
 

Who are The Finest Halfbacks in the Game Empty Who are The Finest Halfbacks in the Game

Post by maestegmafia Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:19 pm

I thought it good to get something for those of you who couldn't tell a prop from a hooker on a dark night, other than they probably were rather more aggressive on the floor than what you were hoping for the last time you were tackled. Not that this debate isn't for you hod carriers too, your chance to accolade those who gained you territory and chastise those that forced another scrum with an opposition put in.

Who were the slickest, finest, cleverest halfbacks ever to play rugby ? ? ?

Marshall and Mehrtens - Mid to late 90s NZ

Farr-Jones and Lynagh - 91 RWC winners

Dawson and Townsend - 97 Lions tour to SA

Edwards and John - Wales and Lions late sixties early seventies

George Gregan - Steve Larkham - RWC 99 and Mid nineties until mid noughties

Van der Westhuizen and Stransky - RWC 95

Jacques Fouroux and Bernard Vivies - France mid Seventies to early eighties

Edwards and Bennett - Wales and lions Early to late seventies

Will Genia and Quade Cooper - Current Aussie

Nick Farr-Jones and Mark Ella - 1984 GS winning Aussie tourists

Stringer and O'Gara - Irish since late ninties

Fabien Galthie and Christophe Lamaison - Late nineties French beat ABs in NZ, won 2 back to back GSs and RWC finalists 99

Rob Howley and Jonny Wilkinson - Lions 2001 in Aus

Peri Weepu and Dan Carter - NZ current

Robert Jones and Jonathan Davies - Wales Late 80s

Youngs and Flood - Current English

Colin Patterson and Ollie Campbell - Irish team that went to Australia in 1979




If you have any other ideas, please ask a moderator ver nicely to add them.

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Post by George Carlin Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:27 pm

I could not believe my single eye when I saw that Roy Laidlaw and John Rutherford were not on that list. mad
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Post by maestegmafia Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:29 pm

Please ask for them to be added, I am afraid there is no way that I could remember to encompass everyone. Plus by previous polls it seems that most members struggle to know much about rugby pre 2000.

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Post by Scoped Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:30 pm

All time? Edwards and Bennett.
Current? Genia and Cooper

Although lets see how the Aussies get on, they are still young and can still make a huge imprint on the great game.

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Post by George Carlin Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:31 pm

No worries Maestag - I think that beer has become stronger since 2000...

Mods - please could you add Scotland's greatest half back combination ever to this list?
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Post by HammerofThunor Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:32 pm

Is it possible to ask the moderators to remove Flood and Youngs off the list?

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Post by maestegmafia Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:41 pm

HammerofThunor wrote:Is it possible to ask the moderators to remove Flood and Youngs off the list?
But they are the current Kings of the Northern Hemisphere, it would be rude to discard them...

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:45 pm

George Carlin wrote:I could not believe my single eye when I saw that Roy Laidlaw and John Rutherford were not on that list. Who are The Finest Halfbacks in the Game 980425

I'll hold onto my vote untill I can vote for this combo.

Seriously Youngs and Flood? Who are The Finest Halfbacks in the Game 3497602689
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Post by rodders Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:53 pm

This is madness, seriously I'm boycotting this one.

How do youngs and Flood get in there?

Yet no Reddan and Sexton, Wilkinson and Dawson, Carter and Marshall/Weepu, Peel and Jones etc.?

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Post by GunsGerms Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:54 pm

Youngs is too young to considered a great and Flood is good but floods his pants too often in tight games.

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Post by Shifty Thu Jul 14, 2011 2:57 pm

Edwards and Bennett by a mile. Though Edwards, Barry john with Bennett as inside centre worked bloody well too!
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Post by bedfordwelsh Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:07 pm

I've gone for Edwards and Bennett due to fact that I saw more of them than I did of Edwards and John.

That said I do agree with GC, Laidlaw and Rutherford were pretty special combo as well.
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Post by OzT Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:19 pm

Well if the half back paring is to make breaks then I reckon Gregan/Larkham, for efficiency working to a plan then maybe Dawson/Wilko, though for unlocking defences honourable mention will be Farr-Jones/Lynagh, though I think Farr-Jones and Mark Ella was the better pairing, not on the poll.

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Post by OzT Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:19 pm

oops sorry, they are on the poll. I vote for them Smile

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Post by HammerofThunor Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:31 pm

I think Flood and Youngs are in for more of a urine take than anything else.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:47 pm

Edwards and Bennett are part of the Rugby Religion. In the pantheon of our Rugby gods. So I wouldn't include them in the poll. They are above such petty human endeavours.

I think a more interesting poll would be: "Who are the best halfback pair not named Edwards and Bennett"?

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Post by funnyExiledScot Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:01 pm

The best I've seen as a combination were Gregan and Larkham, so I voted for them.

The best Scottish combo in my time was Armstrong and Townsend.

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Post by Guest Thu Jul 14, 2011 4:48 pm

I saw Edwards and John, and later Edwards and Bennett, throughout their careers.

When with John, Edwards was probably the junior partner and despite Gareth's phenomenal talents Barry was the big star. He was the one who ran the game, and sometimes the play was sublime. The outside half was the king!

Later, things turned around. When with Bennett, Edwards became the senior partner and despite Phil's twinkling feet Gareth was the bigger star with the bigger personality on the field. He definitely ran most games.

Although I agree with many people that Edwards became the most phenomenal player ever, I still rate his early half-back partnership with John, when Barry ran the show, above the one with Bennett.

I reckon that the side of 1970-71, in which Edwards and John were the halfbacks, before they did the same for the Lions in New Zealand, was the best-ever Wales team.

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Post by chewed_mintie Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:15 pm

In my opinion, as a combo that I have seen, it has to be either Gregan/Larkham or FarrJones/Lynagh.

Wasn't around for Bennett/Edwards but I am sure they were great and Cooper/Genia will probably go better than all of them

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Post by Imperialbigdave Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:18 pm

Laidlaw and Rutherford must be on that list.

Rutherford is one of the classiest yet underrated (outside of scotland) fly halves ever. And all the irishers should know how good laidlaw was.
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Post by Notch Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:21 pm

I don't like 'all time debates. They can be a fun diversion, but it's really hard to compare players from different eras.

Maybe I just think that because I'm young. Maybe in fifty years I'll be curling my lip at young Ulster hopefuls and saying; "I saw Ruan Pienaar play for Ulster, you know!"
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Post by Cumbrian Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:18 pm

Notch wrote:I don't like 'all time debates. They can be a fun diversion, but it's really hard to compare players from different eras.

Maybe I just think that because I'm young. Maybe in fifty years I'll be curling my lip at young Ulster hopefuls and saying; "I saw Ruan Pienaar play for Ulster, you know!"

This. The physical size and fitness of players now means that they would simply blow their counterparts from the 70’s/ 80's away. Take the great Willie John-McBride and compare him to somebody average like Louis Deacon. At the apex of his career McBride was 6ft 3in & 16st 7lb where as Deacon is 6ft 6in& 18st 2lb. Now there is no doubting who the better player was, but if it came down to the tight battles locks are employed for, there would realistically be only one winner.
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Post by Looseheaded Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:05 pm

Voted Weepu and Carter, but I honestly didn't see Edwards and Bennett, so consider my vote to be on them.

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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:22 pm

If someone wants to summarise the desired additions and PM them to me* I'll add them to the poll (sorry, I've spent the afternoon in bed with a migraine so I'm trying to avoid thinking too much tonight)

*Preferably with a link to the thread Wink )
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Post by InjuredYetAgain Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:31 pm

Farr-Jones and Ella for me perhaps because I am too young to remember Edwards and Bennett.
FeS - personally, I preferred Rutherford and Laidlaw. I can see where you are coming from but I think we can get a bit misty eyed about Townsend because of one spectacular season in 1999 when he had Tait and Leslie outside him (now that is a centre combo for the poll on 12 and 13). It may have been that Townsend was too good a player for those around him and they couldn't read what he was going to do but we did see some faily spectaculat howlers from Toonie (as well as some magic)

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Post by maestegmafia Thu Jul 14, 2011 10:51 pm

OzT wrote:Well if the half back paring is to make breaks then I reckon Gregan/Larkham, for efficiency working to a plan then maybe Dawson/Wilko, though for unlocking defences honourable mention will be Farr-Jones/Lynagh, though I think Farr-Jones and Mark Ella was the better pairing, not on the poll.
Farr jones and Ella are one of my personal favourites, they are there.

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Post by welshy824 Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:08 pm

went for bennet and edwards Despite not being born at the time i have watched countless videos of them ripping defences apart, although suprised carter and weepu have so few

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Post by rodders Fri Jul 15, 2011 9:56 am

Cumbrian wrote:
Notch wrote:I don't like 'all time debates. They can be a fun diversion, but it's really hard to compare players from different eras.

Maybe I just think that because I'm young. Maybe in fifty years I'll be curling my lip at young Ulster hopefuls and saying; "I saw Ruan Pienaar play for Ulster, you know!"

This. The physical size and fitness of players now means that they would simply blow their counterparts from the 70’s/ 80's away. Take the great Willie John-McBride and compare him to somebody average like Louis Deacon. At the apex of his career McBride was 6ft 3in & 16st 7lb where as Deacon is 6ft 6in& 18st 2lb. Now there is no doubting who the better player was, but if it came down to the tight battles locks are employed for, there would realistically be only one winner.

True but you have to ignore this to a point. Remember Rugby only went professionally in 1995 so we're only on our 1st or 2nd generation of fully professional athletes.

Someone like McBride was probably naturally well over 16 st, in fact players in that era probably shed weight to play. The likes of Deacon and modern players are full time, do a huge amount of training and take "supplements" to increase their size. If McBride was playing today he'd probably be > 17 st and a far better athlete than he was.

By this argument great players like Garth Edwards, Mike Gibson etc. would be smashed to pieces in the modern game and even more recent greats like Martin Johnson would be way off the pace. Jonah Lomu would probably have had no more impact the the Tuilagi's or lesley Vainakolo i.e. he'd have been a handful but wouldn't have caused the carnage he did.

If a player was a top class rugby player in their era then you have to assume that by using the training methods of the day that they would be able to be successful in any era.
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Post by funnyExiledScot Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:19 am

InjuredYetAgain wrote:FeS - personally, I preferred Rutherford and Laidlaw. I can see where you are coming from but I think we can get a bit misty eyed about Townsend because of one spectacular season in 1999 when he had Tait and Leslie outside him (now that is a centre combo for the poll on 12 and 13). It may have been that Townsend was too good a player for those around him and they couldn't read what he was going to do but we did see some faily spectaculat howlers from Toonie (as well as some magic)


IYA - before my time I'm afraid so I can't make that comparison. Townsend is my favourite player of all time though, flawed genius though he was. Just as likely to slice a kick out on the full as throw a dummy and go clean through untouched under the sticks. Armstrong was pure granite. A slick passer, strong runner and hard as nails in the tackle. Also a great leader on the pitch.

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Post by HammerofThunor Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:31 am

I think a bigger issue is that people only (generally) remember the 'good' stuff. The many many rubbish or games are forgotten about. Especially with the older games back when fewer games were televised or the records kept.

Generally the older players (e.g. Richard Sharp) are completely missed out becuase fewer and fewer people see them and there are no recordings of them. That's not going to happen with the current crop due to modern media. In fact the golden age at the moment is the time between 60s and 90s. All the best bits are recorded and shown over and over again and the only people who saw the majority of their games (and we a decent enough age) are doddering now and their memories can't be relied on [ laughing ]

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Post by Biltong Fri Jul 15, 2011 10:46 am

From a South African perspective.

Bennie Osler and Danie Cruywen

Fourie du Preez and Morne Steyn may not be flashy, but as a combination very effective in 2009.

Henry Honiball and Joost van der Westhhuizen.



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Post by welshy824 Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:05 pm

nothc i agree about ALL time polls as the game has changed so much now and as good as bennet and edwards were back there if you looked at the matches tackles were woeful and the ref hardly got involved. i mean if you put them in modern game they wouldnt cope same with Pele for football and Senna for F1, i mean look at schumacher one of the best f1 drivers to have ever lived and after a few seasons out he isint doing as well as did do

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Post by Guest Fri Jul 15, 2011 5:29 pm

HammerofThunor wrote:I think a bigger issue is that people only (generally) remember the 'good' stuff. The many many rubbish or games are forgotten about. Especially with the older games back when fewer games were televised or the records kept.

Generally the older players (e.g. Richard Sharp) are completely missed out becuase fewer and fewer people see them and there are no recordings of them. That's not going to happen with the current crop due to modern media. In fact the golden age at the moment is the time between 60s and 90s. All the best bits are recorded and shown over and over again and the only people who saw the majority of their games (and we a decent enough age) are doddering now and their memories can't be relied on [ laughing ]

Although I'm one of the doddering ones, my memory's quite good. For instance, I recall Richard Sharp being a tremendous running fly-half for England in the early '60s but vulnerable to heavy side-on tackles as he had a long stride. Funnily enough, he retired at the same age as Barry John did nearly 10 years later.

I put down Edwards and John as my best-ever halfbacks but as a long-time Cardiff supporter I know full well that they weren't geniuses in every game.

For example, John joined Cardiff to partner Edwards in, I think 1967, he came from Llanelli. The first time Llanelli visited Cardiff after John's move, they went all out to rough him up (legally). After 10 minutes of this, John not surprisingly seemed to lose interest in the game, whereupon Edwards took control and Cardiff played 9 man rugby to win.

Another instance was the unexpected defeat by Ireland in 1968 when Edwards was given a drop goal by the ref which everyone agreed was yards wide. There was poetic justice because Ireland won the game with a try by Mick Doyle in the last minutes of injury time. It wasn't the best of days for the Wales halfbacks.

And there again, for much of Edwards's 12 years with Cardiff, there was a certain scrum-half in another Welsh club whom he seemed to avoid by crying off before games. In fact, Gareth nursed his club career (and hamstrings) carefully - that's how he managed to play 53 consecutive games for Wales - apart from being selected, of course!

But I still think the Edwards-John partnership on their best days has never been bettered.

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Post by maestegmafia Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:54 pm

welshy824 wrote:nothc i agree about ALL time polls as the game has changed so much now and as good as bennet and edwards were back there if you looked at the matches tackles were woeful and the ref hardly got involved. i mean if you put them in modern game they wouldnt cope same with Pele for football and Senna for F1, i mean look at schumacher one of the best f1 drivers to have ever lived and after a few seasons out he isint doing as well as did do

Valid point that applies to some but not others, Gareth Edwards for example would have been a great in any era, he was a natural athlete, remarkably strong, and a wonderfully skilled tactician.

Whether Phill Bennett, a far lass robust build than Edwards would survive today, we will have to wait and see, as young Matthew Morgan progresses in the game. If Morgan can do it, then Bennett surely could.

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Post by George Carlin Sun Jul 17, 2011 7:56 am

funnyExiledScot wrote:
InjuredYetAgain wrote:FeS - personally, I preferred Rutherford and Laidlaw. I can see where you are coming from but I think we can get a bit misty eyed about Townsend because of one spectacular season in 1999 when he had Tait and Leslie outside him (now that is a centre combo for the poll on 12 and 13). It may have been that Townsend was too good a player for those around him and they couldn't read what he was going to do but we did see some faily spectaculat howlers from Toonie (as well as some magic)


IYA - before my time I'm afraid so I can't make that comparison. Townsend is my favourite player of all time though, flawed genius though he was. Just as likely to slice a kick out on the full as throw a dummy and go clean through untouched under the sticks. Armstrong was pure granite. A slick passer, strong runner and hard as nails in the tackle. Also a great leader on the pitch.

Injured - fair do's but the fact also remains that Toonie was fairly instrumental in the 1997 British & Irish Lions Test series victory in South Africa.
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