Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The utility of a utility player.

Here is a very simple question which I will direct to the NSW origin selectors:
If Craig Wing is limited to play halfback and hooker, and Robbie Farah is a competent halfback/hooker, then what utility does Craig Wing offer in a bench spot that could not be offered by the far superior Michael Ennis?

This is no attack on Wing, however this look at a few scenarios demonstrates the fact that Wing offers no coverage for injury that doesn't already exist in the team. 

1. Scenario 1:
There are no injuries
Ennis and Farah play 40 or so minutes each at hooker. Potentially both can be on the field at one time. 80 minutes of Ennis and Farah (both kept fresh) means that the blues have a lot of spark out of dummy half.

2. Scenario 2:
Injury to Wallace/Campese
Farah probably slots in to the #6/#7. Wing (a far inferior #9 to Ennis) goes to hooker. 

3. Scenario 3:
Injury to Farah
Wing (a far inferior #9 to Ennis) goes to hooker.

4. Scenario 4: 
Injury to any other back
Basically this is the situation that would have given Wing the Edge.... in 2001. At this stage of his career, Wing is a marginal centre or winger at best. This is obvious. So Say a centre goes down. With or without Wing, Campese likely goes into the centres, Farah to the halves and Wing into 9. Wow, as opposed to the same shit, but with Ennis at #9 instead of Wing. 

The above scenarios demonstrate something pretty obvious. Wing's role in the NSW origin team is an interchange hooker and utility hooker (and halfback). Picking the better hooker for the final bench spot would have been more sensible - as due to the presence of Farah, Wing provides no utility value. 

This is just bat-shit-fucking-crazy. The selectors are telling you one of two things:
1) They didn't run through these very simple scenarios at the selection table. And are thus lazy. 
2) They did run through these scenarios at the selection table, concluded that Wing was a superior hooker to Ennis and are thus complete twats.

The selectors do deserve some credit. The Captain will rejoice that his mancrushes Terry Campese and Michael "Truffle Shuffle" Weyman were selected. I'm quietly pleased by the selection of Luke Lewis as 18th man. After pocketing $400,000 per season from my Panthers for doing sweet FA for 2005, 2006, and 2007 I am okay with him having his heart broken just a little.  Though I hope he plays. Go Luuuuuuuke. 

1 comment:

Captain Carnage said...

I disagree somewhat...

I am going on the last couple of years when Farah has had to fill in at halfback, and I have no comfidence in him in the halves for the Wests Tigers, let alone NSW. The Tigers sucked incredible amounts of ball with Farah in the 7. Go back through the archives if you don't beleive me. Craig Wing has been playing in a team that has lost both halves, has done an admirable job and has a lot of Origin experience.

I would have been happy for both Ennis and Farah to get in but think you are being too harsh on Wing in the "Campese/Wallace" gets injured category. Farah is a poor man's Wing when it comes to playing in the halves. Because he is simply not a competent half and never will be. A super hooker though...