A good halfback partnership is one of the pivotal features of a rugby league team.
The stand-off and scrum-half basically run the show; they make the side tick in the field, but can only play off a strong forward pack.
Here, we take a look at Super League’s top five halfback partnerships.
1. Jonny Lomax and Theo Fages
There really can only be one winner here; Jonny Lomax and Theo Fages have forged an incredible partnership in recent seasons and have been one of the main reasons as to why St Helens have enjoyed unbridled success. Whilst Lomax dazzles with individual skill, Fages is the controller, the game-management number 7. And, at 30 and 26 years of age respectively, the duo still have plenty of time left in the game.
2. Jackson Hastings and Tommy Leuluai
It’s a combination that just works; Hastings and Leuluai were crucial for the Wigan side in 2020, with the former’s slippery nature and the latter’s physicality proving that opposites do attract. Leuluai’s calm head at 35 is enough to balance the sometimes erratic play of 25-year-old Hastings. However, both are special players and if Wigan are to go one better in 2021, they need Hastings back in the side.
3. Josh Reynolds and Marc Sneyd
Although we have yet to see much of Sneyd and Reynolds playing together, the line-up itself is mouthwatering. With plenty of experience under their belt, the duo complement each other brilliantly well – Sneyd’s masterful kicking game and Reynolds’ sniping should cause Super League sides all sorts of problems in 2021. The duo also balance each other out in terms of nature too – Sneyd is more quiet and controlling whilst Reynolds is the one that will bark out instructions to the players around him.
3. Lee Gaskell and Aidan Sezer
The new Huddersfield partnership showed exactly what it could do in 2020, with Sezer running the show so well that he was nominated for the Man of Steel award. Whilst the former Canberra man controls everything the Giants do well, this has enabled Gaskell to bring his elusive running game to the fore, making Huddersfield a seriously dangerous side in midfield. Add in new boss Ian Watson and the best can definitely be brought of each other going forward
4. Luke Gale and Rob Lui
Unfortunately for Leeds, Luke Gale and Rob Lui may not see much of each other in 2021 due to injury, but when they do take the field together, they have caused the opposition all sorts of problems. Both have superb passing abilities and take the line on well, whilst Gale’s kicking gets teams on the back foot.
5. Blake Austin and Gareth Widdop
On paper, this halfback partnership should trump all others in Super League, however, on the field the less said about it the better in 2020. Austin and Widdop failed to strike up enough rapport to help Warrington get their hands on that elusive Grand Final victory, but both have looked much more impressive in pre-season. In theory, Austin and Widdop should blast other rivals out of the water and it will be interesting to see if that happens in the near future.