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Effect of Halfbacks?

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Effect of Halfbacks?

Post by SmellyStuff on Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:58 am

With all the statheads on the forum now, I was wondering what your guys opinion on halfbacks was? Whenever I look at the stats, I see they don't really do much statwise so was curious as to what your experience is with halfbacks? Do you notice a significant difference in your team's play if you play a weak halfback etc?

I've noticed from the NT games that statwise Roland seems to do fuck all but when I review the commentary, he seems to create quite a few of our chances which obviously isn't recorded in the stats.

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Re: Effect of Halfbacks?

Post by Bren on Sun May 01, 2016 10:34 am

A short/heavy halfback can rack up an absurd number of beaten defenders. My player Sakkie Hengari is 179cm/116kg and plays at halfback.

Last season in division 3 he beat 200 defenders -- the next highest in the entire division 3 was Andy Hull (Demons - another halfback) with 131, Russ Parsons (Manuwera RFC - flanker) with 129, and Sylvester Lawless (me again - flanker) with 93.

Since I managed to get 2 players in the top 4 it also means that my tactics -- reasonably high pick & go -- is also a factor. I note than when I move a more traditional sized halfback in with the same tactics, they don't pick up many beaten defenders. It's hard to tell whether they're running less than Hengari or not making any ground when they pick and go (I really wish BR had run/pass/kick stats)

Some recent games: move Hengari to hooker with the same tactics against a pretty easy team and he only picks up 6 beaten defenders vs 13 at halfback against a team slightly better than me on paper.

Whether or not the halfback picking up lots of beaten defenders is a good use of the halfback or not is questionable. The tactics seem to be working well but they haven't been truly tested that many times. In theory it'll seem that getting over the advantage line increases the pressure meter on the livescoring so stringing together a few phases like that can prove handy.

As an experiment I'm going to run three anytime friendlies today against my affiliate. My affiliate is on a fairly even footing with my main team.

First, default tactics with Hengari at halfback. Second, Tuimavave at halfback -- he's probably closer to the more traditional halfback at 195cm/77kg than Hengari, Hengari will swap with Tuimavave and slot in at 12. Third, drop Hengari all together and put in my back up half to see what kind of impact putting a second-rate player in there has.

It's a limited experiment (one game can't tell you much really) but could be interesting.

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Re: Effect of Halfbacks?

Post by ivelostmysparky on Mon May 02, 2016 8:26 am

Unless you go the heavy & PNG route as explained by Bren, halfbacks don't tend to feature much in the stats. Try assists are only counted when a player makes the final pass in a linebreak, and halfbacks themselves don't break the line very much at all. Therefore they don't feature heavily in either stat.

However I suspect they contribute a lot to the success (metres gained and linebreak possibility) expansive and to a lesser extent, creative plays without any stats (apart from ball carries) being recorded. If you need to hide a low skill player, halfback is still a reasonable position to put him.
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Re: Effect of Halfbacks?

Post by Activist on Mon May 02, 2016 8:38 am

Roland had one of the best games for the AB's at 9 against Hong Kong, really made an impact in the game and pretty much set up the win. Some good stats too.

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Re: Effect of Halfbacks?

Post by Bren on Mon May 02, 2016 8:41 am

I take it that Roland is the ironic type.

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Re: Effect of Halfbacks?

Post by ivelostmysparky on Mon May 02, 2016 9:52 am

Bet he can't do it twice in a row...
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Re: Effect of Halfbacks?

Post by Pantherus on Mon May 02, 2016 9:54 am

Tanginoa did it once - that's all that's needed Smile
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Re: Effect of Halfbacks?

Post by SmellyStuff on Mon May 02, 2016 12:46 pm

Been I experienced the same when I experimented with granecome at 9 for a few seasons. Iirc he was around 175cm/120kg, initially trained as a flanker, moved to hooker before I decided to play him at 9 as an experiment. Looking at the historical nz cup stats he scored 11 tries in my victorious cup run in s5 and I'm pretty sure 90% of those were p&GS from scrums or rucks. And yeah I defo remember him racking up beaten defenders and metres gained. Idk what prompted me to move him out of there, my actual hooker must have been getting old or something!

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Re: Effect of Halfbacks?

Post by SmellyStuff on Tue May 03, 2016 10:53 pm

But I made this post in a more general sense rather than just moaning about Roland's lack of involvement. I'm genuinely interested into whether halfbacks in general have a big impact on the game.

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Re: Effect of Halfbacks?

Post by ivelostmysparky on Wed May 04, 2016 9:19 am

In general, I don't think so.
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Re: Effect of Halfbacks?

Post by ivelostmysparky on Wed May 04, 2016 10:51 am

Certainly. But smelly is asking when using "normal" tactics and therefore in general, I think. If using the default 25/25/25/25 attacking split, would a 9 have a big impact on the game?

Not entirely sure on what you mean by technically strong? As in good tech so he doesn't get turned over and keeps possession for his endless barrage of PNGs?
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