Back row move releasing your 7 from a scrum

Your best players are often at 8, 9 and 10. But you probably find your openside flanker is one of your best runners. He loves contact, but is also good with the ball in his hand, not running straight at opposition players, but in the gaps created by other runners.

Best from

  • A scrum in the opposition’s half. You must have room to go right.
  • A situation where you want to set up second phase ball behind the opposition scrum, so their defence is tracking backwards, causing disruption in their running lines.

Why it works

8 draws out the back row defence, leaving a gap beside the scrum. If 8 runs quickly and wide enough, the back row defenders will be out of position allowing a free run for 7 from the right side of the scrum.

Good if you have

  • A quick 8 off the base of a scrum, with good handling skills.
  • Already had your 8 run a move from the back of the scrum.
  • A strong running 7 you want to get into the game.
  • A scrum which can wheel slightly so the tighthead side gets ahead of the loosehead.

What players do

  • 8 gets the ball onto his right foot. He picks and goes to the right, angling away from the scrum. Once past the gain line, he commits the opposition back row and then passes the ball back inside to 7.
  • 7 waits until 8 gets past him, before disengaging and receiving a pass on 8’s inside shoulder.

Common mistakes

  • 8 delays the disengage.
  • 8 runs too tight to the scrum or too laterally. He needs to go forward and create space.

Think about

7 passing to 6 who has run around from the left side of the scrum. In which case 8 and 7 need to pass well before contact, otherwise 6 has little chance of taking the ball cleanly.

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