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Loose forwards for dummies

Written by (rumblo)

Posted in :Original Content, Reader Submissions, Sharks on 7 May 2013 at 08:42
Tagged with : , , ,

After watching the games this past weekend I had to abandon my thoughts of writing anything about the matches and set about pondering one of the debates that always get quite heated.

South Africa has been blessed with a prodigious pool of loose forward talent. And I have seen heated debates raging on all rugby forums as to the correct make up of the loose trio, no debate more fierce than on Sharksworld where there is a plethora of Springboks available for the back row.

I spent a bit of time on the net getting what experts feel the role of each of the loose forwards should be.

The 8th man

A big burley fellow who can pick up off the back of the scrum and make carries over the advantage line. Acts as a link with the back line.

7 Blindside Flank

Ball carrier and ruck cleaner, also often a line out option

6 Openside Flank

Tackle machine and ball stealer… Or at least ball slower downer.

The sharks in recent years have been truly blessed. The talent and power of Bismarck has spoilt the coaches. He has performed all his duties as a hooker while acting as a fetcher as well. This has allowed the Sharks to play a less balanced loose forward combination as Bismarck magically did 150% of what another player would do.

In South Africa we have huge depth in 7 and 8 and often they can even play 4. Our players have no fear and are harder than coffin nails. But the skills and finesse needed to play 6 seem to be in short supply.

My feel for the Sharks loose trio would be Alberts at 8, Deysel at 7 and Minnie at 6. This will provide balance in roles as well as dividing up the ball carrying by providing two more ball carriers which in turn would reduce injuries in theory.

The value of a good 6 is only really evident when they are in the team. An excellent example is how the bulls fair when Deon Stegmann is unavailable, the loose trio seems ineffective and the quality of ball the backs receive is a few seconds slower and that makes all the difference.


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