Half back / Scrum half
- Pass to the left or to the right with no back swing and in a single movement. Two-thirds of all passes are made using the left hand as the predominant hand.
- Place the support leg as close as possible to the ball. This is the right foot when passing to the left and the left foot when passing to the right. However, to protect the ball at the scrum, the passer may turn to pass when passing left. In which case, the left foot should be placed close to the ball.
- Avoid reaching away from the body to pick up the ball as this will lead to an unstable body position and it will reduce the power in the pass.
- Be adaptable - use the pass most appropriate to the situation.
- Always be in a position before passing so the receiver and the ball can be seen at the same line of vision.
- Demand that the forwards drive past the line of the ball so that the pass can be made without interference from opponents.
- Pass a long, yet ‘sympathetic’ pass that can be comfortably caught by the receiver.
- Move back from the mass of forwards to gain time and space to make an accurate kick.
- Kick high enough to clear the mass of forwards in front.
- Be able to make the desired kick while facing in any direction.
- When kicking over the forwards, be conscious of the 10 metre off-side Law requirements and actions needed to allow those in front to rejoin play.
- Judge the success of the box kick by having sufficient time to run forward at good speed and challenge for possession of the ball.
- Develop combinations with loose forwards and inside backs.
- Run infrequently but as the opportunity arises to prevent the defensive loose forwards drifting to assist with defence elsewhere.
- Run either straight down the field or straight at an opponent. Do not drift across the field.
- Unless a try can be scored, seek support before being tackled.
- Read the game so that decisions are made and action taken without hesitation.
- Vary the options available based on the game plan so that they complement it.
- Positionally, the half back is in a very congested area and is instrumental in moving the ball away from congestion.
- When playing into the wind, develop a range of blind-side skills to control the game in these circumstances.
- Control your area and be vociferous in organising players in front (the forwards) and immediately behind (the first five-eighth and second five-eighth).