Barnstorming back-rovers have won you the NRL Premiership

Barnstorming back-rovers have won you the NRL Premiership.

All the focus on completing the set has contributed to suppressing some of these potential superstars.

When you see Kikau at William against Melbourne Storm a few weeks ago, you see the value of such a player.

Most pundits achieved him less last year and yet the Panthers still win the competition. Now he is arguably in the best form of his career and they are virtually irresistible.

When he gets to the edge of the rock and then manages a perfectly synchronized offload with Jerome Louis for an exciting attempt, it’s just as good as rugby league.

People pay to watch this kind of action instead of end-to-end hit-ups and end-of-set after-hit-ups.

We can go back in history to see the value of the Barnestorming back-rovers.

Both Steve Menzies and Noel Kill were integral parts of the individual Premiership-winning Manly Sea Eagles team.

Bradley Clyde won two Clive Churchill medals for being the best on the ground for the Canberra Riders in the Grand Final, including a premiere.

Ironically, Sonny Bill Williams turned down the medal despite a hard-fought second-half effort in the Rosters’ 2013 grand final win over Manley.

I say sarcastically because Bob McCarthy was a judge. He himself was a back-rower in a thrilling race.

McCarthy and three other judges shared the broad opinion that the first half of the SBW was quiet.

Jason Toumalolo is an absolute racking ball. He was a key part of the Cowboys winning the 2015 Premiership. He is again a central part of the Cowboys climbing stairs this year.

Jason Toumalolo

(Ian Hitchcock / Getty Images)

Some coaches should encourage any back-rovers who can play this role to occasionally flip offload.

To be able to make a drop ball from time to time will require the freedom of the player.

Imagine for a second you were transposed into the karmic driven world of Earl. Imagine for a second you were transposed into the karmic driven world of Earl.

Innovative thinking, eh! It brings back crowds and money.

When a burningstorm back-roar makes a successful break, the player receiving the offload often has the opportunity to place the ball under the post, seeing that the defensive line is completely broken.

Nowadays fullbacks are often in line so this may be the best time to offload. This goes without saying that a certain extra two points from the conversion is not a valuable guarantee.

Nowadays a lot of focus goes to the spine intelligently. Numbers one, seven and nine are important for all teams.

Burnstorming back-rovers cannot be a thing of the past if the rugby league continues to improve.

These unique individuals have the extraordinary ability to hold a tough-guy role in the rack and then become an attacking weapon.

They are like cricket all-rounders. How hard is it to find a real one? Conversely, how golden is it when you have one?

Currently in the West Tigers, Louisiana Leilua potentially fits this bill and could turn into another Jason Toumalolo.

Of course on the Gold Coast Titans David Fifita has qualified for the title of Burnstorming Back-Roar and hopefully will have a chance to realize all his promises up front.

You can also take a center like Jean Miles and transform it into an edge-driven racking when his speed stops a touch towards the end of his career.

In his current form, William Kikau can ask any price from any potential new club and is as valuable as any backbone player.

(Photo by Jason McCully / Getty Images)

When children from all over Penrith Valley and beyond go to the barbers, they ask their mother for bleached-blonde mawaks. He is an excitation machine.

Of course, the Bulldogs will have the opportunity to form their team around him next year. Penrith will miss him very much.

Encouraging such players brings back another explosion from the past: the support player.

How valuable Terry Lamb was to the Bulldogs’ success in the 1980’s and 90’s. Johnny Gibbs was another Manley player who developed alongside his back-rowers.

Fate is on the side of the brave. The coach gives a chance to his arm and lets a back-rover test who will get the bikini.

Especially when you have a team struggling or developing, it’s time to imagine.

I understand that NRL is a business now and it’s about results but seeing someone tackle 40 you don’t pay your entry fee, just as important as having this kind of player on your team.

Bring the barnstorming back-rovers, please!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.