Wednesday, 14 September 2016


This is nine-year-old Meaalofa Te'o playing in a recent rugby league junior festival in Australia - the video going viral under the title "Kid Goes Beast Mode".

On the face of it all very impressive but - at the risk of being a killjoy - you have to query the value of a kid built like this playing against players half his size.

He's not learning anything other than how to make use of his size and strength advantage. His opponents are not learning anything other than it's not a great idea to get in his way. And his team mates are not learning anything other than to give him the ball and sit back and watch.

If ever there was evidence in support of grading kids by size and weight rather than age, this is it.


PACSFerret said...

Over here in Ireland RU - all of those hand-offs were completely illegal. Without the hand-offs some of the better efforts at tackles might have been more effective. And the fact that he went out of his way to make hand-offs should have been picked up by refs.

Andrew Barton said...

Totally agree. I coach here in France where it is just age graded. I've seen so many big kids for their age spend their early years running riot in training and local matches. Then they get to under 14 or under 16 for a larger team and come up against players his size or players smaller but technically good tacklers and wham! Mr one trick poney runs out of options. Saw it today. My son is a 14yr old number 7. Just under 6ft and about 9.5 stone. Plays for the under 16's at a good pro D2 side. Up against a number8 from a smaller club who was also just under 6' but well over 13 stone. My son nailed him every time he charged in the first half. The opposition had no plan b. It doesn't benefit the child or the team. Between the ages of 12 and 16 the last thing children should be graded on is age. Go for size , experience, technical level, maturity whatever but not age.