Back row move – 9-10-8

Why it works

  • 9 and 10 switch to draw defenders across from the scrum. This leaves enough uncertainty in the defence for 8 to bust through the gap left between 9 and 10, especially if both 9 and 10 take out their tacklers before each passes the ball.

Good if you have

  • A quick-footed 9, though he does not need to be fast.
  • A subtle passing 10 who can run and then thread a pass to find 8 on the best running angle.
  • A good ball-carrying 8.

What players should do

  • 9 picks up the ball at the base of the scrum and runs right and flat to switch with 10.
  • 10 runs on a diagonal towards the scrum once 9 picks up the ball. He receives a switch pass from 9 and then quickly switches with 8 who is running from his left.
  • 8 disengages as soon as 9 picks up the ball from his feet. He then arcs out to the right to take a pass from 10, running to the right of 10.

Common mistakes

  • 10 does not judge the distance to stand from the scrum correctly. This depends on the speed of 9. The further out, the better, so the defence is stretched.
  • 10 does not go forward after he receives his pass. It is easier for 8 to hit the line of defenders or find a gap if 10 has made some progress forward.

Think about

  • 10 dummying with 8 and passing to a flanker (6 or 7).
  • 9 dummying with 10 on the switch and then
    passing back inside to 8 with a flick pass.
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