the old chessnut. AFL vs NRL. which is more skillful? | BigFooty

the old chessnut. AFL vs NRL. which is more skillful?

Discussion in 'Skills, Coaching, Admin, Umpires' started by tigernova, Feb 24, 2013.

  1. tigernova

    tigernova Suspended

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    no doubt more than a few black eyes have resulted from disputes in hotels about which code takes the most skill to play. so lets find the skills that both codes have in common and give a score to the level of skill required in each code.

    both codes, tackle, kick, catch, pass, evade, etc. so we will stick to the skills both codes have in common...which is all of them for all intents and purposes. we will neglet other skills that both codes havent in common as they are really so few, and dont have a great impact on this survey. you could talk about NRL toughness or AFL shepherding. but all that does is serve to confuse the issue. we will stick to the basic skills need in both codes.

    scores are awarded between 1 and 10.

    tackling.

    the nature of rugby league demands a high level of tackling ability. ALL players have to be of an extremely high standard. opposition will target small players, or suspect in defence. on an international, all code comparison, NRL players are most likely the best in the world. only half of an NFL (gridiron) team needs to tackle, and most of them merely block.

    the level of tackling skill of AFL players is under rated. they can tackle, but it is much more difficult to actually nail a player. otherwise hunt would wreak havoc in every game. and he doesnt. still, they is little emphasis on tackling in AFL. even talent scouts player record sheet doesnt include a reference to a players ability to tackle.

    NRL 10
    AFL 3.


    kicking.

    NRL players generally dont kick. there are usually 2 designated kickers. one for goal, and the other for set plays. the two kickers are actually very skillful, but across the code it is not a big skill. regardless, each player CAN kick. rarely do they drop punt. usually a torpedo. players usually cant kick from both feet, nor do they kick usually on the run. (im not saying they cant, its just not a requirement).

    AFL. probably the greatest kickers on the planet. soccer may have something to say. but soccer kicks along the ground in 2D, AFL kicks in the air in 3D. players kick both feet. must land a ball from an Arial kick on to a small target area and not over or undershoot. they must also kick accurately for goal, without any lateral miscuing.

    NRL 2

    AFL 10


    fitness.

    although not a skill, it does take commitment. we are looking at the codes, not individual potential.

    NRL is explosive fitness. the interchange has detracted from the need for aerobic fitness. players often carry excess muscle and weight round the gut.

    AFL are middle distance runners. supremely fit. they also train to be explosive. they cant afford to carry weight.

    NRL 6

    AFL 10


    passing.

    NRL players posses a wide variety of passes. the flat torpedo pass, the standard pass, flick pass, overhead, round the corner, one hand offload, etc. all are situational passes where a player must select it instantly. they must also do it accurately as there are harsh consequences for losing the ball in RL.

    AFL. one type of pass. the handball. not many variations on the basic pass. however, learning to pass both hands is a challenge. perhaps no more so than a RL kid learning to pass from his non domminant side. i have taken into account that the ball is punched not guided, and that in itself is difficult. but there is little variation in the skill once learned.

    NRL. 10.

    AFL 7

    evasion.

    NRL with less space to move and the intense defense in front, RL players have incredible skills in evasion. they step off both feet, dummy, swerve, chip kick, hit and spin, draw and pass, and all of these put together in the one play. players need to be explosive off the mark, fast, strong, AND be able to defend at an elite level.

    AFL. evasion is a requirement. but personal evasion isnt as critical, as players often promote the ball quickly. it is because of this that defence isnt such a high priority in AFL. some players are very elusive, but having to bounce the ball when running penalises players who do decide to run and be evasive.

    NRL 8

    AFL 5

    catching.

    NRL usually only the fullback and wings take 'marks' or catch kicked ball. players do however catch the ball when its passed by another player. they must not drop the ball, it is often passed very quickly, at full pace, and not always on their chest. however, the ball is synthetic, fat, round and has ripples on the surface to aid in ball handling.

    AFL. the ball is leather, skinny, oblong, heavy, and slippery as soap. EVERY player has to have elite ball skills with this ball. they must catch the ball with just their hands, not just with the chest. they must catch on the run, at full pace, in contests, and under preasure. world class catchers.

    NRL 6

    AFL 10

    awareness.


    NRL. the game is largely controlled by the hooker (usually dummy half) the halfback and five-eight. sometimes other players will see opportunity and relate it quickly to the half. he will then instigate the move. players will see attack forming and move to compensate. wally lewis was said to be able to read a game and think 5 moves ahead of play, with the end result a try that he saw coming. however, it is a highly individual thing and it is mostly only the attacking halves and hooker that can act upon what opportunity they see. ball play is so structured that it takes individual opportunity out of it.


    AFL awareness is the ability to read a game. again, we arent talking about individual potential, we are talking about what the game demands. what sticks out is that the need to read a game is governed by the the freedoms each code present and the restrictions. in AFL there is a broader scope for movement and imagination. defense isnt so structure and positional play is loose. you hold your position largely by making a man, not geographically, although you do have an area that is 'yours'. reading play correctly also helps you conserve energy, presents opportunity, and aids in defense. players are also tagged by their opposing player and have to think about them and try and see opportunity before them. players MUST be very aware.

    NRL 4

    AFL 10



    if anyone has any other ideas of the tow codes have in common, please post and we will grade them.

    TOTAL.

    NRL 46

    AFL 55
     

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  2. TheOz

    TheOz Brownlow Medallist

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    I think you severely underestimate the fitness of top level rugby league players. They don't have the aerobic capacity of AFL players but they do have an amazing amount of endurance and stamina considering they get hit and tackled harder and more repeatedly than AFL players in a shorter period of time. They don't run as far as AFL players but even forwards run large distances a game. It's a more physically demanding game than Union and probably the toughest team sport in the world for the sheer amount of contact and collisions that occur per game time.

    I also think you have undervalued the catching aspect of League, it's not easy to handle a ball thrown at high speed at close quarters with 110+ kg behemoths wanting to rip your head off. It's not as spectacular as taking big pack marks for sure, but it requires awareness (also think you've undervalued that aspect), good hands and the ability to sustain heavy contact without fumbling.
     
  3. Mr Ripper

    Mr Ripper Pink-cheeked and robust

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  4. Stewies Power

    Stewies Power Premiership Player

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    I think depending on what position you play determines how fit you need to be in rl. Whereas in the AFL, not matter what position you play these days you need to be able to run hard and be fit.

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Bobby P

    Bobby P All Australian

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    Played and watch both for years. AFL requires more skills. I have grown up in a rugby league family and I say this not to diminish league.
     
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  6. tigernova

    tigernova Suspended

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    3 years ago i would have argued black and blue on the side of NRL. however ive opened my eyes and had a closer look as i dont like the direction RL has taken. ive encouraged my boy to play AFL as i believe it has more future.

    so over the previous 2 seasons, ive had a chance to watch live games, so recentlyive taken more of an interest in the code itself. ive had to learn new skills and tactics to keep up with the young fella.

    now im over my prejudice and have had a chance to understand more about AFL its pretty obvious the NRL is way behind the AFL in the skills department.

    i recently coached a RL team, i played it as a junior and senior, and followed RL all my life. it should be hard to concede to AFL, but its not. its bloody obvious when you open your eyes.
     
  7. Ronin

    Ronin Club Legend

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    Could you imagine Man U or the New York Giants picking up someone from another sport and putting them straight into the top team.

    That happened with Folau, Hunt and that Canadian hack.

    Rest my case.

    Edit: please don't bring up kickers in Gridiron, that would only be trolling.
     
  8. tigernova

    tigernova Suspended

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    are you ronin from eastside?

    folau is an elite athlete skilled in the use of an AFL type ball. he failed.

    hunt is an elite athlete skilled in the use of an AFL type ball. it took him time to learn to kick properly, despite knowing how to kick. it took time to learn to pass, despite knowing how to pass. it took time to learn to catch despite knowing how to catch.

    so thecanadian is a hack? game too hard?
     
  9. J_Moore

    J_Moore Norm Smith Medallist

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    How the hell do you even find this thread? A tiny thread on a barely used subforum? Do you just run searches for NRL to find things to get angry about?

    Also, why have you brought up a soccer and gridiron team in a thread about AR & RL?
     
  10. .Shotties.

    .Shotties. Brownlow Medallist

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    The Swans' top team play in the ACTAFL?
     
  11. forwardflanker

    forwardflanker Cancelled

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    I reckon if you gave GAJ, Franklin or Judd (before he became rubbish) 12 months to play league they would be in the top 1/2 dozen players in the code. Same can't be said in the other direction.

    /end thread.
     

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  12. tigernova

    tigernova Suspended

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    i think you and they would get a rude, painful, shock.
     
  13. imadodgyumpire

    imadodgyumpire Brownlow Medallist

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    It would be interestng to see what the consequences would be if dropping a mark in footy meant possesion to the opposition? Footy players would find it hard to adapt and work in a smaller area of a rl field and smaller area they have to work with. With all 360 degrees available, there's always a way out for in footy. I suspect the huge area footy players have to work with may make it appear they have some superiorty over rl players. But they don't.
     
  14. imadodgyumpire

    imadodgyumpire Brownlow Medallist

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    Considering so few players in rl have to kick, why has this become an important criterion? Unless you were comparing the top players in both codes, footy has a huge advantage in ths area since it's not a part of the game. What you fail to acknowledge this that there are a lot of terrble kick n footy. I would not trust most footy players to kick the goal Hunt had to aganst Richmond. I can't say wth any confidence that the best kicks in afl are a signifcant amount better than rl, if at all.


    So for you, "fitness" means aerobc fitness?


    Still a way to go to appreciate rl.
     
  15. tigernova

    tigernova Suspended

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    catching an AFL ball is a different prospect to catching a synthetic, ripple surfaced, light, RL ball. one is a comparitively heavy, smaller, smooth, slippery ball. the other is light, actually sticks to your hands, bigger, plump and only a few players ever get to takea high ball. most catching is done over short distances.
     
  16. Bobby P

    Bobby P All Australian

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    It's about what game is more skillful.

    My first year playing league I was able to do everything required straight up without much training.

    My first year playing footy was a mess. Many more skills to learn and inturn in my opinion is AFL more skillful.
     
  17. imadodgyumpire

    imadodgyumpire Brownlow Medallist

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    Firstly, if you take away your score for kickin, since its such a minor part of playing rl, the score is 44 - 45. So **** all difference. If you take away the fitness criterion, because you don't acknowledge that rl is played for 80mins and footy is for 120, the score is rl 38 -35. Fitness only means aerobic to you, and footy players train for it, so there's an advantage there. If rl was played for 120mins, there would be a massive change to the aerobic fitness of the players. The front 6 would also be smaller, that would be a huge change to the nature of the game. Anyway, that is only your supposed interpretation, without any substance. Nevermind the other stuff, which also comes across as jibberish.

    You make it sound like balls and tops are made of velcro. What you've done is inadvertently show why it's easier to catch and kick a footy.

    The rl ball is bigger, lighter and has a rippled surface. Particularly with a bomb, the lightness of the ball means it's susceptible to to movement in the air, so it's harder to control the kick and judge how it's going to come down, with it moving around in the air. Compare it to kicking a soccer ball to a ballon, it's much easier to control the heavier soccer ball.

    The bigger surface and ripples also causes drag, which makes the ball buffet around while it's on it's path. What that means is that it's harder to control the ball and judge the positioning of your hands to catch it. When talking about one of the halves kicing the ball downfield to the opposition backs, the same applies. However, it's easier only because there is no opposition player present to pressure the recieving player. The higher the ball is in the air, the more it'll be affected by wind. As the ball falls down, the bigger the factor of drag comes into play.

    Compare that with footy. The ball is heavier, therefore is less affected by cuttting through the air. The smaller, smoother surface means it's also less affected by drag. As a result, it's easier to control the ball and it's easier to predict where it's going. With the advantages footy has over rl, I'd much rather an opposition player be a metre behind me, than a metre in front of me. A huge advantage for footy players.

    Never mind how horrible many footy players are at handling the ball, yet have been able to have long careers and make a contribution. Never mind that many players can have a great career at the top, despite only having one or two strengths with the criterion you listed. Never mind the randomness of your scorecard, there was no justifcation to the degree of you score.
     
  18. papabear

    papabear All Australian

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    This thread should be closed.

    From an afl pov afl players are more skilful.
    From a nrl pov rl players are more skilful.

    It's that simple
     
  19. Kynge of Begrem

    Kynge of Begrem Cancelled

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    I like both sports, have played both sports and would have to say Australian Rules is more skillful, It is much easier to play League as it is a pretty simple game - which is one of its strengths.
     
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  20. Pottering

    Pottering Club Legend

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    You gotta love this post!

    Challenges readers to imagine people from outside Gridiron going straight into the top team, then immediately declares the obvious example of kickers as trolling. Nice work when you can set your own rules.
     
  21. Barkly St End

    Barkly St End Brownlow Medallist

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    Good point about Man U, except everyone on Earth plays soccer, so it's actually near impossible to find anyone who doesn't have a soccer background in one form or another (worth mentioning that stacks of Gaelic footballers have won contracts with Premier League clubs, including Niall Quinn, who was actually offered a contract to play in the then VFL before deciding on Arsenal, where he forged a decorated career).

    But here's an interesting question: how easy is it to be a soccer coach with some of the best teams in the World?

    Well, funny you should ask. Andre Villas-Boas had no playing background before becoming an interpreter to Bobby Robson, before rapidly getting promoted to manager of Porto, then Chelsea (now managing Tottenham).

    Clearly it doean't take too much effort to sit on the sidelines and chew gum.

    Interesting thing about AFL players moving to the NFL (around 5 in the last 15 years or so), they actually did so after retiring from AFL footy aged 31-32.
     
  22. brisbane13

    brisbane13 Cancelled

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    after playing both sports id have to agree AFL is much more skillful, union is considerable more skillful than league, but the main strength of League is its simplicity over union hence why it is more popular than union
     
  23. Gongswan

    Gongswan Brownlow Medallist

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    I grew up watching league, pretty much lived at Belmopre oval, the days of Peter sterling and Brett Kenny et al, are long over. There are 3 or 4 skilful players in League, there are 600 in AFL. It's a no contest
     
  24. Barkly St End

    Barkly St End Brownlow Medallist

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    Speaking of Sterlo, let's not forget that a contemporary of his (an absolute champion of League too, tough as nails), sired the Swans' newest co-capt (who is a very handy footballer in his own right).

    By the way, as staunch a supporter of Australian Football as I am, I believe it's incorrect to refer to only a handful of skilful players in League. The NRL draws its players from a simillarly sized pool of Australians, and the very best are quite talented and if born in another state, would have grown up being talented in another sport.
     
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  25. Dr Tigris

    Dr Tigris Premiership Player

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    Agree AFL has more ball skills and is a much more complex game. But RL is a game of combat, big hits and discipline in performing tasks under the sort of duress that rarely happens in any other sport (maybe union if they just play up front). The key skill is actually to hit and be hit whilst maintaining a team structure and moving the ball forward. This skill set is missing from AFL.
    The gym I work out in often has the Raiders in there, and they make the AFL players look weeny. In terms of power fitness it is NRL 10 AFL 5.
    Some AFL players could play NRL, and do well. Especially the great inside mids - Kennedy, Watson. Others like Brown are monsters that love the hard stuff. But the skill set requires attributes very rare in AFL.
    And guess what? The attributes of AFL are rare in NRL players. Guys that have elite athletiscism and powerful builds can do both.
    Messi would never play NRL, and may get into AFL based on talent on the ball. In the world game he is the BEST. Each sport suits certain types of people. Live with it.
     
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