Players whose form fell off a 'cliff'?

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Ali's Choice
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Players whose form fell off a 'cliff'?

Post by Ali's Choice »

Who are the players who were once great, genuinely world class individuals, and then suddenly and mysteriously their skills and ability suddenly disappeared? These are players who because of injury, personal reasons or just the effect of Father Time went from being elite game-breakers to mediocre performers over a very short timespan.

Julian Savea: If this was an actual team, then there is no doubt that Julian Savea would be the captain. His form decline was as dramatic as it was sudden. Saturday morning he was the world's best and most exciting international left winger. By Sunday afternoon he'd put on 20kg, lost twenty metres of speed and was a struggling to hold his spot in the midfield of his local pub team.

Jerome Kaino: Being exposed for allegedly having an affair with a pretty swimsuit model was all it took for Kaino to completely lose his mojo and for his form to go from hero to zero. He went from being the world's most feared blindside flanker to being a passenger in the space of a season. He's a great illustration of the fact that to perform 'on-field' players need to be in control of things off the field.

James O"connor: At his peak he was the most talented player of his generation, and would have walked into any test squad around the world. However injuries, coupled with some poor off-field decisions resulted in JOC's career hitting the skids, and then going backwards. He morphed into an 'easy rugby' journeyman, more famous for his haircuts and partying ways than for anything he was doing on the field. Aged 30, he looks to have turned his personal life around and there is still time for a few more chapters to be written in the book of his rugby career.

Notable Omissions:

Israel Dagg: His career was crueled by injury, but it was hard not to feel sorry for Dagg as he tried time and time again to unsuccessfully resurrect his career after each injury setback.

Christian Cullen: Another player who was robbed of a dignified end to his career due to injury. Once the Paekakariki Express lost his speed and agility, it was a quick desecent downhill for him. Once the greatest attacking fullback the world had ever known, he ended his career being trolled by Irish know-nothings who thought they had poached someone better.
Last edited by Ali's Choice on Thu Jul 09, 2020 3:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Jerome Manning
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Re: Players who fell off a 'performance cliff'?

Post by Jerome Manning »

Rodney So'oialo and Jerry Collins.
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Re: Players who fell off a 'performance cliff'?

Post by Wilderbeast »

Rokocoko was a big one.

Is that a pun I see? :uhoh:
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Ali's Choice
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Re: Players who fell off a 'performance cliff'?

Post by Ali's Choice »

Jerome Manning wrote:Rodney So'oialo and Jerry Collins.
JC not so much, but So'oialo is a great call. He went from hero to zero nearly as quickly as Julian Savea.
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Re: Players who fell off a 'performance cliff'?

Post by Wilderbeast »

Cullen’s final season in NZ was actually quite impressive. Nothing like his earlier years but easily good enough for genuine shock and dismay when he was overlooked for the AB squad.
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Re: Players who fell off a 'performance cliff'?

Post by JB1981 »

Rodney So’oialo went from being a key player and signing a 3 year contract in 2008 to being dropped from the ABs in 2009, being relegated to the Hurricanes bench in 2010, and seeking an early release to Japan soon after. His decline was so severe you’d have to think there was a mental element to it. At his worst he may well have even been displaced by Akira Ioane if they they been contemporaries.

Edit: more succinctly put by Jerome Manning.
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Re: Players who fell off a 'performance cliff'?

Post by Jerome Manning »

Ali's Choice wrote:
Jerome Manning wrote:Rodney So'oialo and Jerry Collins.
JC not so much,
Really? (I maybe misremembering). His All Black non-selection in 2008 was very controversial wasn't it? Had a decent enough Super Rugby season and Graham Henry pulled the pin, quite publicly, prematurely on his international career. I remember it all being a bit weird at the time.

Then there was the weird Japan...thing. Brazilian gangsters, in Tokyo, involving knives and women. It was...odd.
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JB1981
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Re: Players whose form fell of a 'cliff'?

Post by JB1981 »

Isaac Ross was never a great but his rise and fall were nearly simultaneous.
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Re: Players whose form fell of a 'cliff'?

Post by Sonny Blount »

Nehe-Milner Skudder
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Re: Players who fell off a 'performance cliff'?

Post by Jerome Manning »

Wilderbeast wrote:Cullen’s final season in NZ was actually quite impressive...genuine shock and dismay when he was overlooked for the AB squad.
For Ben Atiga :uhoh: :uhoh: :thumbdown: :|
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Re: Players whose form fell of a 'cliff'?

Post by Wilderbeast »

Isaac Ross definitely came to mind.
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Re: Players who fell off a 'performance cliff'?

Post by Sonny Blount »

Jerome Manning wrote:
Ali's Choice wrote:
Jerome Manning wrote:Rodney So'oialo and Jerry Collins.
JC not so much,
Really? (I maybe misremembering). His All Black non-selection in 2008 was very controversial wasn't it? Had a decent enough Super Rugby season and Graham Henry pulled the pin, quite publicly, prematurely on his international career. I remember it all being a bit weird at the time.

Then there was the weird Japan...thing. Brazilian gangsters, in Tokyo, involving knives and women. It was...odd.

I think Jerry pulled the pin on his NZ career, not Ted.
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Jerome Manning
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Re: Players whose form fell of a 'cliff'?

Post by Jerome Manning »

Sonny Blount wrote:Nehe-Milner Skudder
His 2015 was so magical he gets a free pass.
JB1981 wrote:Isaac Ross was never a great but his rise and fall were nearly simultaneous.
Fantastic winger :thumbup:
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Re: Players who fell off a 'performance cliff'?

Post by Wilderbeast »

Jerome Manning wrote:
Wilderbeast wrote:Cullen’s final season in NZ was actually quite impressive...genuine shock and dismay when he was overlooked for the AB squad.
For Ben Atiga :uhoh: :uhoh: :thumbdown: :|
Ben Blair too.
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Re: Players who fell off a 'performance cliff'?

Post by JB1981 »

Sonny Blount wrote:
Jerome Manning wrote:
Ali's Choice wrote:
Jerome Manning wrote:Rodney So'oialo and Jerry Collins.
JC not so much,
Really? (I maybe misremembering). His All Black non-selection in 2008 was very controversial wasn't it? Had a decent enough Super Rugby season and Graham Henry pulled the pin, quite publicly, prematurely on his international career. I remember it all being a bit weird at the time.

Then there was the weird Japan...thing. Brazilian gangsters, in Tokyo, involving knives and women. It was...odd.

I think Jerry pulled the pin on his NZ career, not Ted.
Unexpectedly wasn’t it? I remember him kicking the final conversion in a Hurricanes game and thinking that was odd, and then it turned out he was done.
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Re: Players whose form fell of a 'cliff'?

Post by Ali's Choice »

Wilderbeast wrote:Isaac Ross definitely came to mind.
His form was fine. Steve Hansen selected a wide-running, ball-carrying lock. issac Ross was an effective wide-running, ball-carrying lock. Then after a few losses in 2009 Steve Hansen decided he actually wanted a tight, workhorse lock and dropped Ross like a sack of spuds.
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Re: Players who fell off a 'performance cliff'?

Post by jdogscoop »

Ali's Choice wrote:
Jerome Manning wrote:Rodney So'oialo and Jerry Collins.
JC not so much, but So'oialo is a great call. He went from hero to zero nearly as quickly as Julian Savea.
Given GOAT Richard McCaw Esq. remarks on it in his biography, you may as well chisel it in granite. It is written.
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Re: Players who fell off a 'performance cliff'?

Post by Tehui »

JB1981 wrote:Rodney So’oialo went from being a key player and signing a 3 year contract in 2008 to being dropped from the ABs in 2009, being relegated to the Hurricanes bench in 2010, and seeking an early release to Japan soon after. His decline was so severe you’d have to think there was a mental element to it. At his worst he may well have even been displaced by Akira Ioane if they they been contemporaries.
Back injuries are a bitch. I've never had one, but even I know that the most gifted athlete would struggle to get out of bed after such an injury.
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Re: Players whose form fell of a 'cliff'?

Post by UncleFB »

Sheesh AC, that's some rancid bait re: Kaino ... I don't think even you believe that one.

Since AC has kicked off the trolling thing: George Bridge and Sevu Reece: Hailed as the new superstar wings after missing the forward debacle in Perth. Got to the RWC and combined for a total of 4 tries as they contributed to the ABs being bundled out of the cup. ;)
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Re: Players whose form fell of a 'cliff'?

Post by jdogscoop »

Would it be unfair of me to nominate Owen Franks?

Heralded as one of the great NZ props year after year.

Hansen then got up on the wrong side of the bed and decided he was done.
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Re: Players whose form fell of a 'cliff'?

Post by UncleFB »

jdogscoop wrote:Would it be unfair of me to nominate Owen Franks?

Heralded as one of the great NZ props year after year.

Hansen then got up on the wrong side of the bed and decided he was done.
Hansen did a lot of getting up on the wrong side of the bed last year.
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Re: Players whose form fell of a 'cliff'?

Post by JB1981 »

Should we put BOD on here for the Irish?
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Re: Players whose form fell of a 'cliff'?

Post by Jerome Manning »

UncleFB wrote:Sheesh AC, that's some rancid bait re: Kaino ... I don't think even you believe that one.

Since AC has kicked off the trolling thing: George Bridge and Sevu Reece: Hailed as the new superstar wings after missing the forward debacle in Perth. Got to the RWC and combined for a total of 4 tries as they contributed to the ABs being bundled out of the cup. ;)
It was obvious in "that game" that they were too light.
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Re: Players whose form fell of a 'cliff'?

Post by Jensrsa »

Aphiwe Dyantyi - From WR Rookie of the year to nowhere in one fell swoop due to 1) injury and 2) banned substances (decision pending)

Pat Lambie - Never really recovered from the CJ Stander hit

Robert du Preez - Never got another chance after costing the Boks the test against Wales in Washington

Jaco Kriel - Injuries over the last 2-3 years probably kept him out

Julian Redelinghuys - Neck injury forced his retirement when he was peaking

Johan Goosen - Injuries probably cost him, combined with the arrival of Handre Pollard

Arno Botha - Never was the same after his injury

Jaco Taute - Had 2 tests out of position when he got injured. Never got back in the frame for the Boks
Last edited by Jensrsa on Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Jerome Manning
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Re: Players whose form fell of a 'cliff'?

Post by Jerome Manning »

jdogscoop wrote:Would it be unfair of me to nominate Owen Franks?

Heralded as one of the great NZ props year after year.

Hansen then got up on the wrong side of the bed and decided he was done.
Unbelievably stupid (non)selection rather than his form falling off a cliff.
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Kahu
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Re: Players whose form fell of a 'cliff'?

Post by Kahu »

Beauden Barrett. From WPOTY to filling in for an injured Damien McKenzie
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Re: Players whose form fell of a 'cliff'?

Post by Tehui »

UncleFB wrote:George Bridge and Sevu Reece: Hailed as the new superstar wings after missing the forward debacle in Perth. Got to the RWC and combined for a total of 4 tries as they contributed to the ABs being bundled out of the cup. ;)
:lol:
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Re: Players whose form fell of a 'cliff'?

Post by Wilderbeast »

Will Jordan. From future AB superstar and form player of super rugby Aotearoa to mere journeyman unable to crack a super rugby first XV. In only a week!
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Re: Players whose form fell of a 'cliff'?

Post by tubbyj »

Luke McCallister and sad to say it looks likek Aaron Cruden.

Both hamstrung by going overseas. Left as creative sparks came back as carthorses.
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Re: Players whose form fell of a 'cliff'?

Post by Biffer29 »

Daryl Marfo.
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Re: Players whose form fell of a 'cliff'?

Post by danny_fitz »

JB1981 wrote:Should we put BOD on here for the Irish?
The title is 'fell off a cliff', not 'dropped on his head'. ;)
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Re: Players whose form fell of a 'cliff'?

Post by Mog The Almighty »

"off", not "of". Sorry, had to.
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mr bungle
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Re: Players whose form fell of a 'cliff'?

Post by mr bungle »

One fell swoop.
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Re: Players whose form fell of a 'cliff'?

Post by PornDog »

tubbyj wrote:Luke McCallister and sad to say it looks likek Aaron Cruden.

Both hamstrung by going overseas. Left as creative sparks came back as carthorses.
Cruden probably wasn't helped by being at the shit show that is Montpelier.
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Tehui
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Re: Players whose form fell of a 'cliff'?

Post by Tehui »

Players who fell off a cliff due to injury rather than form, belong in a different category IMO.
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Re: Players whose form fell of a 'cliff'?

Post by Magpie26 »

jdogscoop wrote:Would it be unfair of me to nominate Owen Franks?

Heralded as one of the great NZ props year after year.

Hansen then got up on the wrong side of the bed and decided he was done.
Not sure that's quite fair, there is no doubt injuries were catching up with OF and I think it was pretty clear his mobility was being impacted. Still pretty impressive at his key roles but was falling off the pace.

I don't think he was too unhappy to move to a competition where they pace of the game is a bit slower.
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Re: Players whose form fell of a 'cliff'?

Post by Jensrsa »

mr bungle wrote:One fell swoop.
:thumbup:
Fixed
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Re: Players whose form fell of a 'cliff'?

Post by hermie »

It's almost unfair to include AB wingers here because it's such a confidence position and nowhere else is there the same competition for places. All wingers go through ups and downs but a little dip and you're out in NZ.

Take Stockdale for example. One season he was breaking the 6Ns try scoring record, the next he was looking like a chump by comparison. He still played practically every game. Now you can argue about the correctness of that decision but the reality is there wasn't a George Bridge or a Sevu Reece waiting in the wings.

Murray is the Irish one that stands out most to me. Obviously injuries had a lot to do with it but also a lack of competition has compounded it.
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Re: Players whose form fell of a 'cliff'?

Post by BlueThunder »

Charles Piatau, one day he was tearing it up for the Blues and then next minute "poof" he disappeared off the face of the earth, never to be seen again.
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Re: Players whose form fell of a 'cliff'?

Post by AND-y »

Rhys Priestland
Alex Cuthbert
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