One off game at 8 - help!

Discussion in 'General Rugby Union' started by g6mcg, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. g6mcg

    g6mcg Guest

    As a brief introduction I normally play in the second row, but have been asked/told to play 8 on Sunday (game got pushed back a day so more time for you to respond...).

    Reasons why this is a very bad idea:

    As a second row I'm more in the Borthwick/MacLeod (lightweight) style
    I rarely carry the ball
    I'm tall, but not "big"
    I'm not strong
    I'm a poor tackler
    I've never played there before!

    Any advice on what my roles are (compared to a second row) and what to do at scrums/lineout’s would be greatly appreciated

    (I usually jump in the lineout’s, should I still be doing this or hanging at the back and letting the second rows jump)
     
  2. Forum Ad Advertisement

  3. O'Rothlain

    O'Rothlain Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (g6mcg @ Oct 16 2009, 08:10 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    Let's start with the lineout. The 4 and 5 man don't technically have to be the jumpers. I've switched it all around before. Whoever the better jumpers are, should be jumping in the match, and if that's you, then you should jump and let someone else take on the #8 role for the lineout...it's not a big deal.

    Secondly, you're too stressed about the whole thing. At the end of the day, you're playing rugby and the fundamentals are the same regardless of your position. You'd have more to worry about if they were moving you out of the pack and into the backline. I've played both prop and 8 Man. Being at No 8 is a lot of fun. You get to control the ball at scrums, and bash people. While I understand your concern, you're going to just have to man up and get some extra aggression for this match. Aggressiveness is a big part of the 8 Man's game.

    Hope that helps a bit.
     
  4. g6mcg

    g6mcg Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (O'Rothlain @ Oct 16 2009, 04:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    Let's start with the lineout. The 4 and 5 man don't technically have to be the jumpers. I've switched it all around before. Whoever the better jumpers are, should be jumping in the match, and if that's you, then you should jump and let someone else take on the #8 role for the lineout...it's not a big deal.

    Secondly, you're too stressed about the whole thing. At the end of the day, you're playing rugby and the fundamentals are the same regardless of your position. You'd have more to worry about if they were moving you out of the pack and into the backline. I've played both prop and 8 Man. Being at No 8 is a lot of fun. You get to control the ball at scrums, and bash people. While I understand your concern, you're going to just have to man up and get some extra aggression for this match. Aggressiveness is a big part of the 8 Man's game.

    Hope that helps a bit.
    [/b][/quote]

    Thanks for the advice

    I'd probably be jumping then - One less thing to worry about

    So I'm going to run the ball more, probably tackle more but essentially it's the same? This is probably a stupid question but at scrums should I decide with the 9 before the scrum whther to crash it, or make up my mind just before I go?

    (I think I'm stressing out a bit because the last time I was put out of positon was at fullback, in what seemed to be gale force winds. Didn't go too well)
     
  5. O'Rothlain

    O'Rothlain Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (g6mcg @ Oct 16 2009, 02:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    Let's start with the lineout. The 4 and 5 man don't technically have to be the jumpers. I've switched it all around before. Whoever the better jumpers are, should be jumping in the match, and if that's you, then you should jump and let someone else take on the #8 role for the lineout...it's not a big deal.

    Secondly, you're too stressed about the whole thing. At the end of the day, you're playing rugby and the fundamentals are the same regardless of your position. You'd have more to worry about if they were moving you out of the pack and into the backline. I've played both prop and 8 Man. Being at No 8 is a lot of fun. You get to control the ball at scrums, and bash people. While I understand your concern, you're going to just have to man up and get some extra aggression for this match. Aggressiveness is a big part of the 8 Man's game.

    Hope that helps a bit.
    [/b][/quote]

    Thanks for the advice

    I'd probably be jumping then - One less thing to worry about

    So I'm going to run the ball more, probably tackle more but essentially it's the same? This is probably a stupid question but at scrums should I decide with the 9 before the scrum whther to crash it, or make up my mind just before I go?

    (I think I'm stressing out a bit because the last time I was put out of positon was at fullback, in what seemed to be gale force winds. Didn't go too well)

    [/b][/quote]

    Talk to your coach and your scrumhalf. There are generally calls or signals for whether or not you crash or secure the ball. Definitely don't associate it with your previous experience. Play simple hard hitting rugby and you'll be fine, mate.
     
  6. Blindside6

    Blindside6 Guest

    Hi g6mcg

    How did it go on sunday?
     
  7. g6mcg

    g6mcg Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Blindside6 @ Oct 19 2009, 08:46 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    We lost 72-0, and the score told the story of the game - we had 1 spell in possession of the ball and in the game we made the gain line only once (and it was me!). So that wasn't too good but I felt I played okay at 8, well no worse than anyone else. I found in the scrums it's fun if you're going forward (only happened once) but not so good trying to control the ball as the scrum races backwards. One missed tackle which I was annoyed about (and it lead to 7 points...oops) but I enjoyed flattening their scrum half - the ball was gone but I reckon it's his fault for being too damn quick!

    Apparently I'll probably be moved next week (our normal 8 is returning from injury. An injury that lasted one week, had no cause and led to him going to Murrayfield and then drinking a lot. And his best friend is about to get married. A mere coincidence) but it may be to blindside rather than second row. I doubt that's due to any brilliance displayed, more likely to add a bit of grunt to the "boiler room" and so my pace can be used. (Relative pace that is, my team is modelled on the Carling’s England approach)
     
  8. Juan VdS

    Juan VdS Guest

    Glad to hear you had some fun. There's nothing like playing in the back row. Have you played #6 before? If that's not the scenario, I would be glad to give you some tips.
     
  9. Blindside6

    Blindside6 Guest

    They obviously spotted you have some talent to move you to the Blindside ;)
     
  10. g6mcg

    g6mcg Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Juan VdS @ Oct 20 2009, 06:15 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    I used to play 6 when I was in 13, then I grew and it was decided that my new lanky status should make me a second row. Training at that time for me mostly consisted of constant games on small pitches. (e.g across the 22 with teams depending on how many turned up, rarely exceeding 7. Basically it was tackling and rucking practice for 3 hours) So I think it's fair to say I have no real idea what I should be doing. (Except tackle a lot - my coach's only advice to me was "tackle, tackle, tackle, tackle, ruck, tackle")
     
  11. Juan VdS

    Juan VdS Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (g6mcg @ Oct 20 2009, 03:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    I used to play 6 when I was in 13, then I grew and it was decided that my new lanky status should make me a second row. Training at that time for me mostly consisted of constant games on small pitches. (e.g across the 22 with teams depending on how many turned up, rarely exceeding 7. Basically it was tackling and rucking practice for 3 hours) So I think it's fair to say I have no real idea what I should be doing. (Except tackle a lot - my coach's only advice to me was "tackle, tackle, tackle, tackle, ruck, tackle")
    [/b][/quote]

    Fair enough. Out of sheer curiosity, may I ask how much do you weigh? And, how tall are you?

    A team's setup can vary a lot. For example here in Argentina most teams have big flankers. Fetchers and diminutive flankers are extremely rare (I play #7 myself and there was a time when I weighed 255 pounds, and I stand 6 feet 6 inches tall). Other teams prefer to have a more versatile back row -- take a look at Serge Betsen and Yannick Nyanga who happen to be perfectly capable of playing on either side of the eightman.

    So, let's talk about this. I like to think that there are two types of blindside flankers: the runner and the hitter.

    The hitter seeks to secure possession of the ball during mauls and rucks, which usually frees up space and time for the #7 and #8 to play the next phase, or on open field. Judging by your past statements I grasped that you're not a lofty ball carrier -- so this approach to #6 might be the one your coach is looking for. As you previously said, tackling is a big part of your role: you MUST disrupt the other team's game with uninterrupted tackling and pushing. You've got to be as physical as possible, without crossing the line -- remember that referee will be surveilling you in the look out for any infringements.

    Flankers play a psychological role in most games. I don't know if this has ever happened to you, but when I was 11 years old my team played against an U15 team from Córdoba, just for fun. Among their players was a huge #6 that kept performing bone crunching tackles on our tight five. There was a time in the game where his mere presence was enough for us to feel nervous and insecure of what we were going to do. That is what you must aim to -- imposing yourself, physically and mentally over your opponents.

    Note: as a lock you might be accustomed to waiting for the opposite player to run into you. As a flanker, however, I'd advise you to run into the other player before tackling him, so you can actually drive him back. You will notice that if you do this on a regular basis throughout the game and that if your legs are strong enough, you'll slot in some big hits that may well end up in turnovers.

    A different type of flanker emerges in the shape of the runner. These fellas aim to construct open play, usually following the backs in their thrusts through the opposite defensive line. For this method to come to fruition the team needs a solid eightman that excels at securing the ball in rucks. As I said before, it's up to the view your coach has of the team and the assets of your back row. I won't delve into thorough details regarding this, taking into account that you're not a natural runner.

    Now, let's talk about the line-out. I take it from your responses that you're a regular jumper in your team. This is great. However, as a blindside flanker you are expected to play an important role after the ball has been thrown -- that is to stop all players coming around the end of the lineout per se. Quite often you will find yourself having to tackle somebody in the area between the fly-half and the line-out formation. In my team, whenever #6 is about to jump in a line-out, he warns the eightman to cover that channel for him, but then as I said this may differ with your case. You should talk to your soon to be back row colleagues about this.

    One key moment is the aftermath of a scrum where the other team has got the ball. In this case communication between the back row and the scrum-half is ESSENTIAL. As #6 you will have to hunt the first man that carries the ball around the scrum on the left hand side of the pitch (normally the eightman and the openside should take care of the second and third men, respectively). Please keep an eye on the fly-half in front of you and try to read his next movement, in case he decides to run with the ball between the scrum and your position; also be careful of any players popping in next to the fly-half, it's happened to me before and this usually ends up in chaos. Don't make the typical error of trying to run across the field to strengthen the defensive line and prevent overlaps, just wait for the opposite fly-half to make his move.

    I don't know the characteristics of your team (or the team you are going to play against), so I'll let you judge the following by yourself. If you're facing a team that bases its attack on the power of their forward pack, then you have to exert pressure on them at all time. These teams have got a limited game plan and if you front up to them, relishing physical encounters to turnover the ball, you'll do very well. On the other hand, if the aforementioned team has a dangerous backline or plays expansive Rugby, you might want to position yourself behind the defensive line. This will eventually allow you to read the game and foretell what the other team is going to attempt against you. The latter method has long been used by Los Pumas when they have their #8 stand behind the line to read the game / take care of high balls / restart play, etc.

    Given your natural conditions and the fact you're a lock, I'd advise you to think of a blindside flanker as a tight forward, but with a lot more tackling involved.

    Needless to say, all flankers must be extremely fit. Now this is an area where I cannot be of much help because there are hundreds of training plans; however I'm sure O'Rothlain is streets ahead of me in that department.

    I have got some images of set plays that involve blindside flankers, but I'm at Uni right now so you'll have to wait a little. :D

    If there is anything else you want to inquire about, do not hesitate to bring it up to me.

    I hope that helped a little. ;)
     
  12. Blindside6

    Blindside6 Guest

    Great answer Juan.

    The only thing I'd add to that, which is a personal thing, is that the 6 should be keeping one eye on his own 9 and making sure that he's getting the protection he needs from the opposition forwards.
     
  13. Juan VdS

    Juan VdS Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Blindside6 @ Oct 21 2009, 08:05 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    Hah yeah! I totally forgot about that. Mainly because our scrum half is a converted flanker. :mellow:

    One extra thing: As we all know, #4, #5 and #8 are the main jumpers in a lineout. If you are thinking of jumping as regularly as you would playing lock, then perhaps you can talk to your coach to elaborate a set play involving several forwards that could jump simultaneously. It's just a little detail but having a wide variety of calls to make at lineout time can prove to be incredibly effective and confusing for the opposide side.
     
  14. feicarsinn

    feicarsinn Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Juan VdS @ Oct 21 2009, 01:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    Hah yeah! I totally forgot about that. Mainly because our scrum half is a converted flanker. :mellow:

    One extra thing: As we all know, #4, #5 and #8 are the main jumpers in a lineout. If you are thinking of jumping as regularly as you would playing lock, then perhaps you can talk to your coach to elaborate a set play involving several forwards that could jump simultaneously. It's just a little detail but having a wide variety of calls to make at lineout time can prove to be incredibly effective and confusing for the opposide side.
    [/b][/quote]
    Really? As in:
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Juan VdS

    Juan VdS Guest

    Haha! With the sole difference being that our scrum half plays very well. :p

    Ours is a very peculiar team. We have two props that are over 6'5" tall, a scrum half that used to be an openside, an openside that plays everywhere (me), and a fly-half that used to be an eightman (!). Hey, we don't play expansive Rugby, but I can assure you won't be able to walk very well after having played us. :p
     
  16. g6mcg

    g6mcg Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Juan VdS @ Oct 20 2009, 09:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    I used to play 6 when I was in 13, then I grew and it was decided that my new lanky status should make me a second row. Training at that time for me mostly consisted of constant games on small pitches. (e.g across the 22 with teams depending on how many turned up, rarely exceeding 7. Basically it was tackling and rucking practice for 3 hours) So I think it's fair to say I have no real idea what I should be doing. (Except tackle a lot - my coach's only advice to me was "tackle, tackle, tackle, tackle, ruck, tackle")
    [/b][/quote]

    Fair enough. Out of sheer curiosity, may I ask how much do you weigh? And, how tall are you?

    A team's setup can vary a lot. For example here in Argentina most teams have big flankers. Fetchers and diminutive flankers are extremely rare (I play #7 myself and there was a time when I weighed 255 pounds, and I stand 6 feet 6 inches tall). Other teams prefer to have a more versatile back row -- take a look at Serge Betsen and Yannick Nyanga who happen to be perfectly capable of playing on either side of the eightman.

    So, let's talk about this. I like to think that there are two types of blindside flankers: the runner and the hitter.

    The hitter seeks to secure possession of the ball during mauls and rucks, which usually frees up space and time for the #7 and #8 to play the next phase, or on open field. Judging by your past statements I grasped that you're not a lofty ball carrier -- so this approach to #6 might be the one your coach is looking for. As you previously said, tackling is a big part of your role: you MUST disrupt the other team's game with uninterrupted tackling and pushing. You've got to be as physical as possible, without crossing the line -- remember that referee will be surveilling you in the look out for any infringements.

    Flankers play a psychological role in most games. I don't know if this has ever happened to you, but when I was 11 years old my team played against an U15 team from Córdoba, just for fun. Among their players was a huge #6 that kept performing bone crunching tackles on our tight five. There was a time in the game where his mere presence was enough for us to feel nervous and insecure of what we were going to do. That is what you must aim to -- imposing yourself, physically and mentally over your opponents.

    Note: as a lock you might be accustomed to waiting for the opposite player to run into you. As a flanker, however, I'd advise you to run into the other player before tackling him, so you can actually drive him back. You will notice that if you do this on a regular basis throughout the game and that if your legs are strong enough, you'll slot in some big hits that may well end up in turnovers.

    A different type of flanker emerges in the shape of the runner. These fellas aim to construct open play, usually following the backs in their thrusts through the opposite defensive line. For this method to come to fruition the team needs a solid eightman that excels at securing the ball in rucks. As I said before, it's up to the view your coach has of the team and the assets of your back row. I won't delve into thorough details regarding this, taking into account that you're not a natural runner.

    Now, let's talk about the line-out. I take it from your responses that you're a regular jumper in your team. This is great. However, as a blindside flanker you are expected to play an important role after the ball has been thrown -- that is to stop all players coming around the end of the lineout per se. Quite often you will find yourself having to tackle somebody in the area between the fly-half and the line-out formation. In my team, whenever #6 is about to jump in a line-out, he warns the eightman to cover that channel for him, but then as I said this may differ with your case. You should talk to your soon to be back row colleagues about this.

    One key moment is the aftermath of a scrum where the other team has got the ball. In this case communication between the back row and the scrum-half is ESSENTIAL. As #6 you will have to hunt the first man that carries the ball around the scrum on the left hand side of the pitch (normally the eightman and the openside should take care of the second and third men, respectively). Please keep an eye on the fly-half in front of you and try to read his next movement, in case he decides to run with the ball between the scrum and your position; also be careful of any players popping in next to the fly-half, it's happened to me before and this usually ends up in chaos. Don't make the typical error of trying to run across the field to strengthen the defensive line and prevent overlaps, just wait for the opposite fly-half to make his move.

    I don't know the characteristics of your team (or the team you are going to play against), so I'll let you judge the following by yourself. If you're facing a team that bases its attack on the power of their forward pack, then you have to exert pressure on them at all time. These teams have got a limited game plan and if you front up to them, relishing physical encounters to turnover the ball, you'll do very well. On the other hand, if the aforementioned team has a dangerous backline or plays expansive Rugby, you might want to position yourself behind the defensive line. This will eventually allow you to read the game and foretell what the other team is going to attempt against you. The latter method has long been used by Los Pumas when they have their #8 stand behind the line to read the game / take care of high balls / restart play, etc.

    Given your natural conditions and the fact you're a lock, I'd advise you to think of a blindside flanker as a tight forward, but with a lot more tackling involved.

    Needless to say, all flankers must be extremely fit. Now this is an area where I cannot be of much help because there are hundreds of training plans; however I'm sure O'Rothlain is streets ahead of me in that department.

    I have got some images of set plays that involve blindside flankers, but I'm at Uni right now so you'll have to wait a little. :D

    If there is anything else you want to inquire about, do not hesitate to bring it up to me.

    I hope that helped a little. ;)
    [/b][/quote]

    I’m 6’2, I’m not sure of my weight, maybe 170-180 lbs. (Important to note that is not muscle. Too many takeaways and far too much drinking have seen to that).

    Going on your two styles I’d think I’m more of a hitter, though yesterday I was told I’ve been moved to the back row to add some pace. (The No.8 is very much in the Dean Richards role, and the openside is 39 – still fitter than all of us, but has lost some pace, and a lot of hair).

    We’re going to be having a training session this Friday evening (very unpopular with the team!) solely on lineouts and scrums – so I’ll ask about my teams strategy then. Thanks for the advice about the scrums, and also the tackling. Being more aggressive is something I need to work on, I rarely get “fired upâ€, the exception being perceived injustices against my team, so hopefully hitting them in the tackle rather than waiting for them will help.
     
  17. Juan VdS

    Juan VdS Guest

    Well, you can still go for a beer swilling night session after training! :p

    One of the most effective ways to put in a good tackle is to hit the other player with your head in his chest while grabbing his legs to throw him off balance. I do this a lot and it usually forces the player to release the ball. You can also sidestep quickly before tackling him, so you will hit him around the ribs.

    I didn't mention this before, but you might want to practice the art of getting on your feet right after the tackle, to steal the ball. Now, this is something that traditional blindside flankers would not do, but it is always handy.
     
  18. g6mcg

    g6mcg Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Juan VdS @ Oct 23 2009, 04:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    I don't understand your point about the tackle - do I headbutt him? (Sorry too many scrums have worn down my brain cells considerably)
     
  19. Juan VdS

    Juan VdS Guest

    Yeah, that's it. But please make sure you grab his legs first, otherwise you'll be penalised. Remember, you've got to be very intense and as physical as possible -- you must commit 100% of your muscular prowess to every single tackle you put in.

    Be sure to enter as many rucks as possible, and never give up trying to cause a turnover. It becomes really annoying for the opposite team when they have to deal with flankers getting in their way and slowing the ball down. Not only will you shatter their momentum, but you will give your team mates the chance to reorganize.
     
  20. g6mcg

    g6mcg Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Juan VdS @ Oct 23 2009, 07:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    Sounds like my fitness is going to need to improve a lot :( Still a week with my sister and nephew might help...somehow
     
  21. Juan VdS

    Juan VdS Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (g6mcg @ Oct 23 2009, 05:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    Sounds like my fitness is going to need to improve a lot :( Still a week with my sister and nephew might help...somehow
    [/b][/quote]

    Yeah, fitness is crucial in this case. But chin up mate, you can work on that! Besides the obvious (cardio, weightlifting, etc) you can do what we are taught from an early age down here in Argentina. We play 80 minutes, then we go to the bench for another game to take the pitch once more in the second half. Without realising it you've played 120 minutes of intense Rugby. If you repeat this routine on a regular basis, before you know you'll be able to play a game without feeling exausted in the last minutes.

    Remember, size and physicality are important, but the key is in your own head. It's psychological. Give it some time and you'll learn how to relish the level of intensity that comes with being a flanker. And once you do, you'll never want to play anywhere else. ;)

    Anyway, as we all know, one principle stands above all: HAVE FUN!

    P.S: I've got some training routines for you. If you ever feel like going through them, don't hesitate to ask!
     
Enjoyed this thread? Register to post your reply - click here!

Share This Page