Who was the most talented forward out of Dave Taylor or Tevita Pangai Junior?

Who was the most naturally talented Forward?


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theshed

theshed

Just a Game
Aug 28, 2010
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I'd pretty much forgotten how good Hayne was in his prime, so I went back and dug up some highlights from his Dally M winning year.

Everyone here agrees that Herbie is a "gun," and there's a push to move him to fullback because of it.

I want you to look at a guy who was a "gun" at fullback, and compare the set of skills he has compared to what we've seen from Herbie to date. Look at his general awareness of the players around him, his support play, his passing game, his step, his return, his defence, everything. Tally up how many traits you see he has that make a great fullback. He wasn't freakish and arsey, he was rock solid in every area. The same way Wally Lewis was no athlete, yet still a match-winner.

For me, though, JT was even better.

It should be a wakeup call to how one-dimensional we are in attack.


He was 6’2 and 100+ kilos. As big as most forwards.

Ran 100m in 11:2 seconds. Making him one of the fastest players in league history.

Stepped like Benji Marshall, with the same ability to throw no look flick passes and 2 man cut outs.

Could kick as far as Lockyer.

Could fend and break tackles like Hodges.

The guy literally had it all accept the work ethic and brains (and morals).
 
WASSHHH

WASSHHH

NRL Captain
Aug 24, 2017
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He was 6’2 and 100+ kilos. As big as most forwards.

Ran 100m in 11:2 seconds. Making him one of the fastest players in league history.

Stepped like Benji Marshall, with the same ability to throw no look flick passes and 2 man cut outs.

Could kick as far as Lockyer.

Could fend and break tackles like Hodges.

The guy literally had it all accept the work ethic and brains (and morals).
Whilst I do disagree with your assessment of Hayne, I am not about to argue the other side because, truth is, Hayne was indeed a very gifted player.

What I will say though is that 11.2 seconds for the 100 doesn’t put him in the conversation of the fastest blokes in the last decade or two, let alone ever. There have been numerous blokes who have run in the 10’s (off the top of my head, Roberts, JAC, GGM, Hammer are all quicker than him and all played in the last few years, or still do). Hancock was quick, Dallas, Shearer and countless more in that era. People with older heads and better memories will remember more from before then too.

Why I say this is because, given the authority you made your statement with, is it possible the rest of your assessment of him may be viewed a little through rose coloured glasses?

He was a gifted athlete, but so was / is someone like Berrick Barnes or Ponga, who could have played a number of sports, and a broad range, professionally.

EDIT: forgot Saab, he’s quick too.
 
BooKhaki

BooKhaki

NRL Player
Sep 16, 2020
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I'm in list mode, so here you go based purely on talent, best 17 of that generation (and this is VERY arguable):

1. Slater (Hayne had that amazing season but so did Barba, Slater was there or there abouts though for basically his whole fullback career)
2. Hayne
3. Inglis
4. Folau
5. Yow Yeh
6. Marshall
7. Thurston
8. A.Fifita
9. Smith
10. D.Taylor
11. Thaiday
12. $.Williams
13. Taumololo
Thaiday? One of the most over-rated players in a long time.
 
Wolfie

Wolfie

International Rep
Jan 14, 2015
17,776
26,439
He was 6’2 and 100+ kilos. As big as most forwards.

Ran 100m in 11:2 seconds. Making him one of the fastest players in league history.

Stepped like Benji Marshall, with the same ability to throw no look flick passes and 2 man cut outs.

Could kick as far as Lockyer.

Could fend and break tackles like Hodges.

The guy literally had it all accept the work ethic and brains (and morals).

Must admit, i think prime GI was better. He had the finesse and he had the physicality.
 
BooKhaki

BooKhaki

NRL Player
Sep 16, 2020
2,189
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Sammy was superb at his best in the back row. Probably gets a raw deal from a lot of people because of how he ended up here.
He ran a decent line, but he was not a super talented player. And he put together some truly putrid games, running for sub 20m etc. If he wasn't such a character off the field, he wouldn't be regarded so highly to many people. Early Gillett was way more naturally talented than anything Thaiday produced.
 
Wolfie

Wolfie

International Rep
Jan 14, 2015
17,776
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He ran a decent line, but he was not a super talented player. And he put together some truly putrid games, running for sub 20m etc. If he wasn't such a character off the field, he wouldn't be regarded so highly to many people. Early Gillett was way more naturally talented than anything Thaiday produced.

Not that i judge any player based on meters ran, but at his best i cant recall a game where he would have ran under 20m when he was playing in the second row. He didnt do so well when we played him at prop.

I dont think his character had anything to do with people rating him. He was a top quality edge back rower and thats why people thought highly of him.
 
Big Pete

Big Pete

International Captain
Mar 12, 2008
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Not that i judge any player based on meters ran, but at his best i cant recall a game where he would have ran under 20m when he was playing in the second row. He didnt do so well when we played him at prop.

I dont think his character had anything to do with people rating him. He was a top quality edge back rower and thats why people thought highly of him.
I'm pretty sure there was a game against the Bulldogs in 09 where he only ran for 9m.

One of my memories of Thaiday is that he would struggle to put quality seasons together.

2006: Break-Out
2007: Injured/Struggling with the death of Joe Clarke
2008: Star player of the Broncos
2009: Invisible
2010: Best second-rower in the competition.

Then he developed osteitis pubis and was never quite the same after that.

I don't think there's really a stand-out for that 80s generation. Plenty of quality players like Thaiday and Gillett but it's tough to separate them from Watmough, Lewis, Ellis, G. Stewart, Bird, Pritchard etc. Even somebody like Learoyd-Lahrs, a freak athlete, could come into the conversation.
 
Mr Fourex

Mr Fourex

State of Origin Captain
Apr 9, 2012
8,958
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Why I say this is because, given the authority you made your statement with, is it possible the rest of your assessment of him may be viewed a little through rose coloured glasses?

Indeed......

"Easily.....and to have ever existed"

Were particular comments that caught my eye....... 😉
 
theshed

theshed

Just a Game
Aug 28, 2010
12,929
28,277
Must admit, i think prime GI was better. He had the finesse and he had the physicality.
GI is obviously the other player that comes to mind and I would accept that opinion. I think Hayne had a broader array of skill though personally. GI had the better career though no doubt
 
theshed

theshed

Just a Game
Aug 28, 2010
12,929
28,277
Whilst I do disagree with your assessment of Hayne, I am not about to argue the other side because, truth is, Hayne was indeed a very gifted player.

What I will say though is that 11.2 seconds for the 100 doesn’t put him in the conversation of the fastest blokes in the last decade or two, let alone ever. There have been numerous blokes who have run in the 10’s (off the top of my head, Roberts, JAC, GGM, Hammer are all quicker than him and all played in the last few years, or still do). Hancock was quick, Dallas, Shearer and countless more in that era. People with older heads and better memories will remember more from before then too.

Why I say this is because, given the authority you made your statement with, is it possible the rest of your assessment of him may be viewed a little through rose coloured glasses?

He was a gifted athlete, but so was / is someone like Berrick Barnes or Ponga, who could have played a number of sports, and a broad range, professionally.

EDIT: forgot Saab, he’s quick too.
I don’t think he’s in the top few but saying he’s ONE of the fastest is not hyperbole. Off course Saab, Roberts, Ado-Carr etc beat him by half a second or so.
 
Sproj

Sproj

International Captain
Forum Staff
Sep 6, 2013
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I'm pretty sure there was a game against the Bulldogs in 09 where he only ran for 9m.

One of my memories of Thaiday is that he would struggle to put quality seasons together.

2006: Break-Out
2007: Injured/Struggling with the death of Joe Clarke
2008: Star player of the Broncos
2009: Invisible
2010: Best second-rower in the competition.

Then he developed osteitis pubis and was never quite the same after that.

I don't think there's really a stand-out for that 80s generation. Plenty of quality players like Thaiday and Gillett but it's tough to separate them from Watmough, Lewis, Ellis, G. Stewart, Bird, Pritchard etc. Even somebody like Learoyd-Lahrs, a freak athlete, could come into the conversation.

And Ali Lautiti, he looked like he was destined for greatness and then just fell off a cliff. Taniela Tupou, is that right? - he looked like he was going to be the next Sailor and then I think busted his ankle and that was it.
 
Big Pete

Big Pete

International Captain
Mar 12, 2008
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And Ali Lautiti, he looked like he was destined for greatness and then just fell off a cliff. Taniela Tupou, is that right? - he looked like he was going to be the next Sailor and then I think busted his ankle and that was it.
I considered Lauititi but I'd say he belonged in the prior generation. Same deal with Lote Tuqiri.

Taniela Tuiaki, was the best winger in the competition until he shattered his ankle in the back end of 09. He was never the same after that and then Uate came along and blitzed it until teams figured him out.
 
Sproj

Sproj

International Captain
Forum Staff
Sep 6, 2013
40,274
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I considered Lauititi but I'd say he belonged in the prior generation. Same deal with Lote Tuqiri.

Taniela Tuiaki, was the best winger in the competition until he shattered his ankle in the back end of 09. He was never the same after that and then Uate came along and blitzed it until teams figured him out.

What ever happened to Tim Smith? He had arguably the best rookie season of any half ever, how could someone that freakish end up on the scrap heap like two seasons later?
 
Mr Fourex

Mr Fourex

State of Origin Captain
Apr 9, 2012
8,958
8,172
GI is obviously the other player that comes to mind and I would accept that opinion. I think Hayne had a broader array of skill though personally. GI had the better career though no doubt
You've never mentioned the choice being generational......and given your recent comments above, it appears as though choosing the Hayne plane is in fact, not such an "easy" decision......

How is Wally Lewis not getting a mention here.......?

By far, the most gifted footballer, I've ever seen play the game.
 
Mr Fourex

Mr Fourex

State of Origin Captain
Apr 9, 2012
8,958
8,172
What ever happened to Tim Smith? He had arguably the best rookie season of any half ever, how could someone that freakish end up on the scrap heap like two seasons later?

Anthony Milford says hi.......
 
BooKhaki

BooKhaki

NRL Player
Sep 16, 2020
2,189
2,788
I'm pretty sure there was a game against the Bulldogs in 09 where he only ran for 9m.

One of my memories of Thaiday is that he would struggle to put quality seasons together.

2006: Break-Out
2007: Injured/Struggling with the death of Joe Clarke
2008: Star player of the Broncos
2009: Invisible
2010: Best second-rower in the competition.

Then he developed osteitis pubis and was never quite the same after that.

I don't think there's really a stand-out for that 80s generation. Plenty of quality players like Thaiday and Gillett but it's tough to separate them from Watmough, Lewis, Ellis, G. Stewart, Bird, Pritchard etc. Even somebody like Learoyd-Lahrs, a freak athlete, could come into the conversation.
TLL could have been anything if he wasn't injured so much. Turned himself into an elite prop even after all the surgeries.
 

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