Is the Sextuple Peel a Winning Tactic? (II)
Robert Fulford gives his perspective on using Sextuples as a Winning Tactic.
My experience of learning to do sextuples has been a very long and gradual one, with Chris looking over my shoulder in vague disapproval for most of it. I used to tell him going for sextuples and making a few errors was worth it in the medium term, but after I'd been trying for 10 years and still hadn't reached the point where they made tactical sense, I had to concede I ought to be saying long term.
Currently I am doing about 75% of my sextuples in easy conditions. Dawsons and peeling 1-back before 2 has definitely increased my success rate in the last couple of years. However even at 75% it is still a dubious tactic. My guesses of typical percentages of hitting a tea lady and a 19 yard lift are 16% and 40%. Sextuples can give you a misguided sense of control of a game. Tea lady shots do get hit. If you aren't really up to the sextuple it is a better gamble to hope they miss the lift than to hope the balls run fortunately for you.
My goal is obviously to get a higher sextuple rate. A 90% rate would give a sextupler a typical advantage of about half a roquet over a best of 5. Not to be sniffed at, but hardly a big enough edge to suggest the sextupler can't frequently be beaten by someone employing traditional 4-back tactics and neither me or Reg are that good yet.
Taking a period where you don't worry about tactical consequences and just go for sextuples every game is the fastest way to learn them. Fast in the sense of becoming prolific at sextuples may still be years though.
Looking towards Christchurch 2008, if the conditions are easy my best buy for hopefuls is to practice going round 3rd turn over and over. If it's tricky that won't be very pragmatic either.Rob
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