English rugby league legend Garry Schofield has given the NRL’s halves an almighty spray and taken a particular aim at South Sydney’s Adam Reynolds, likening him to Hollywood actor Burt Reynolds saying “he looks like he’s on a film set.”
Schofield, a utility player who won the Golden Boot in 1990 and Man of Steel award in 1991, starred in the Super League during the 80s and 90s and also had two stints in Australia with Balmain and Western Suburbs during his 16-year career.
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The Great Brittain international wrote in a column that “rugby league fans are being served half-measures when it comes to stand-offs and scrum-halves these days.”
He paid homage to the great halves of the past including Canterbury duo Terry Lamb and Steve Mortimer, Parramatta pairing Brett Kenny and Peter Sterling, Wally Lewis, Brad Fittler and Alfie Langer.
And also credited more recent players like Cooper Cronk and Johnathan Thurston.
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But he boldly declared that none of the game’s current halves compete with the greats he named.
“I don’t think many of the current crop are up there with the string of sixes and sevens coming off the production line between the sixties and the nineties,” Schofield said.
“These days, Canberra’s Jack Wighton, the Roosters’ Luke Keary, Manly’s Daly Cherry-Evans and Melbourne’s Cameron Munster have all played for Australia.
“You also hear rave reviews for the likes of Kyle Flanagan at the Roosters, Nathan Cleary at Penrith and Mitchell Pearce at Newcastle.
“But to me, none of them are a patch on the players I’ve mentioned previously.”
Schofield didn’t hold back when it came to Rabbitohs No.7 Reynolds.
“I chuckle to myself when I watch Souths captain Adam Reynolds, who has played Origin for New South Wales,” he said.
“I think of him as Burt Reynolds, because for much of the time, he looks like he’s on a film set, standing around, waiting to get the director’s call to do something.”
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Adam Reynold’s manager, Steve Gillis, didn’t buy into the comments and instead gave a cheeky response.
“Adam has told me he’s interested in going into movies once his career concludes but in the meantime he is happy holding up his gloves in the world’s premier rugby league competition on a weekly basis.
“He is highly regarded and is a premiership-winning player and captain of a foundation club.
“He is a prolific pointscorer and has been brave enough to step into the Origin arena and handle himself with aplomb.”
While South Sydney CEO Blake Solly gave them even less time.
“Garry loves to make controversial statements about current players. This looks like another one of those.”
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Former NRL star Jamie Soward tweeted: “Who seriously cares what Garry Schofield thinks about the #NRL halves at the moment. To have a crack @SSFCRABBITOHS captain #adamReynolds is so s**t. Premiership winner, over 1000 points in the best competition in the world is a great career.”
For what it’s worth, Burt Reynolds was a Rabbitohs fan through his friendship with club owner Russell Crowe.
Crowe barely batted an eyelid at the comments: “It’s a pointless opinion not worth commenting on.”
Schofield’s issue with the current halves is that they “seem worried about taking responsibility” and stick to the safer options.
“The modern half seems mainly to kick near the end of the set rather than backing himself to run at the opposition or do something special with the ball in hand.”
He’s particularly fond of Lewis’ playing style and doubts fans will ever see player like him again.
“I think back to Wally Lewis and his ferocious defence, amazing vision, relentless running and those Exocet passes he delivered,”
“I’d like to think we’ll see another at his level, but I’m not sure we will.”
Originally published asBrutal Hollywood sledge for NRL star
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