Strong runner

A scrum-half also needs to be a strong runner, and be able to break first tackles and give offloads. This is mostly around the ruck situation, and runs would involve picking and going around the fringes, with the aim of beating opposition forwards with agility and speed. Once bursting through the gain line, you would look to have a loose forward with you, to be able to take the ball into the open space. A scrum-half making a run would usually come late on in the game, when the defence are less organised and are expecting the ball to always go the fly-half.

It will also make the defence take more care in defending the rucks, and so release some of the pressure they would put on the fly-half. Communication and Observation Throughout the game, the scrum-half must be one of the most vocal players on the pitch. From this position, he can see most of what is happening in the game, and needs to pass on any important information to the rest of the team. Forwards for example, can see very little when in a ruck or a maul, so need to be directed with constant instructions as to what to do.

He also should guide them around, in the contact situation, as he can see far more from five yards back, so can notice overlaps, or gaps that need fixing. This is where the observation comes in for the scrum-half, who should be more aware of how both the attacking and defensive lines are set up, and so can help to rearrange something. This must also be used in attacking play, where the scrum-half plays a key role in deciding what to do, so needs to choose the right decision based on the observations you make.

Strengths Passing As I mentioned, I believe that passing to be a key aspect of a being a scrum-half, and needs to be good for the backs to be able to perform at the best of their ability. To me, it is one of the strongest parts of my game, and something that I am very confident with. I have the ability to pass equally well off both my left and right hands, giving confidence to the fly-half at any field position, and the option for me to pass either way from a breakdown with matching attacking threat.

Although the strength of my pass is certainly not the best, I make up for this with the high accuracy, in which, I can nearly always put the ball where the receiver wants it, giving them far greater ease, in performing their desired action. This accuracy is partly due to the technique is use, where I have a solid, open base with the leading leg pointed towards the target, a strong bottom hand which stays pointing at the target, and an upper hand which comes across and over the ball, spinning it, in order to keep it’s line.

This can be seen in the image, where I am passing the ball off my right hand from a ruck. Observation Another vital attribute to a scrum-half is his ability to observe many aspects of the match, and take in the information. Generally I can do this vey well and can combine what I see at any one time with what has already happened during the match. This allows me to come to a much better and more effective decision on the action that the team should take.

In attack for example, if I have identified that the opposition are weak around the forwards, I will try to increase the time our pack has on the ball, and leave the ball with them in places like the line-outs. More specifically, I will also notice if there is an option to go on the blind side with an overlap, or whether to kick if there is no-one covering it. I can also help in defence, by spotting where a possible opposition threat is, especially if it is around breakdown, and organising the forwards in order to nullify it.

Communication Strongly linked with observation, good communication is needed by the scrum-half to be able to relay the information gathered with the rest of his team, in organising and controlling certain parts of the game, such as the breakdown area. It is another part of the game, which I believe I am good at, which has hugely beneficial effects on the team. At a ruck or maul, I constantly communicate with my forwards, whilst also listening to the demands of the backs.

To a forward, deeply involved in the play, it is extremely hard to tell what else is happening around him, and whether he should really be doing what he is doing, so I give them information on the scenario, and help on what to do. When in defence, I will tell the forwards where to go, such as guarding the fringes, covering the blind side, or providing extra support for the backs. This would be when the fly-half or another back had demanded more help. Pressure on Opposition Scrum-half.

I have talked about how important it is for me to pass well, and the exact same is for the opposition scrum-half, who is also trying to provide the best ball possible to his fly-half. One of my roles, in this position, is to pressurise this opposing man, in order to worsen his service. I can do this very well, and enormously cut the time that he can have before making the pass. Early on in a match, usually at the scrums, I can often catch the scrum-half before he has passed, and with all their forwards on the wrong side of the resulting ruck, this can lead to a turnover, with lots of space out wide.

If this happens, the scrum-half, as I would be, would be desperate for it not to happen again, and is likely to rush his pass, just to get the ball away. These passes will almost certainly not be as good as it could be, and could start to put pressure on the fly-half. I will continue to chase him throughout the match, for another chance, when he is slightly too slow. The image shows the opposition scrum-half about to pass from a scrum. Weaknesses Acceleration One of my weaknesses as a scrum half is my acceleration, which is important when attempting to make breaks.

In the position, I will not usually have to be running flat out for long distances, like a winger, but will have use quick speed around the fringes. I need to be able to pick up from the back of a scrum or maul, and have the acceleration beat the forwards. It can be used either to aim for a gap outside of the defender, and go round them, or, once a dummy has been thrown, to step back of the leading leg, and begin running with such speed the defenders have overrun you.

Kicking Kicking, which I have mentioned to be a large part of the scrum-half’s game, is one of the weaker areas of mine. So far in rugby, I have nearly always had a very strong kicker in the backs, who have taken this responsibility upon themselves. They tend to be highly effective at doing this, and so, have never required me to do so. This has meant that when I arrive at a ruck, the potential option to kick is not usually one of the first thoughts to go through my mind.

It has also meant that I have not spent as much time practising and improving my kicking than other areas of the game. As a result my kicking is significantly weaker, but could definitely improve with more effort put into it. This would give me the option to help my team in attack, giving a small chip for the wing to chase, and in defence, clearing the lines and relieving pressure from the usual kicker. Tackling Technique The tackle is one of the roughest parts of the game of rugby, and so, a place where injuries are likely to happen, especially if the wrong technique is used.

If I am making a head on tackle, or one from the players right, the I a fine, but when I come in for a tackle from the players left, my technique is extremely bad, and could result in a serious injury for me. When making this sort of tackle, your head should be behind the ball carriers legs, and the left shoulder should make the initial contact. As you can see from the image below, when coming into this tackle, I have used my right shoulder, which has put my head on the wrong side of his body. From this, a part of the body like the knee could quite easily hit my head and cause severe concussion.

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