First five-eighth / Out half / Fly half
- Stand deep but receive as flat as the play will allow.
- To make a long pass, it is an advantage to receive the ball in a stable, standing still position. From this position, the long pass can be made more accurately. Stand flatter to ensure that the opposing defenders don’t drift and to compensate for not moving onto the ball.
- Take care to spiral pass only when it is really necessary because the spiral pass is more difficult to catch.
- For all other passes, hip sink pass to prevent the defence from drifting, to gain maximum power and control and to provide the opportunity to make a dummy pass and penetrate through a gap.
- Kick to space unless the height of the kick allows the ball to be regained. Because regaining possession from the opposing teams throw at a lineout is difficult, do not kick to touch unless the territory that is gained more than compensates for the loss of possession.
- Base kicking on the positioning of the defensive backline. If it is flat, use the kick, but if it is deeper, use backline moves to gain territory.
- Be able to kick accurately while under pressure, using both right and left feet.
- Balance running onto the pass to commit the defence whilst retaining some space and clearing to supporting players who need the space to attack.
- Use evasive running skills to attack the defence especially from scrums as the loose forwards are less available to defend.
- When running the blind, over-commit the defending players by initially standing flatter on the open-side. Run across the back of the scrum so that, before or after receiving the ball, the angle of running is away from and not towards the loose forward defence.
- Demand correct backline alignment at set pieces and phase play in attack and defence so that the backline can operate as a unit.
- Choose options that fit in with the team game plan and the tactics that prove successful as the game progresses.
- If possible, choose the tactic to be employed before receiving the ball. This is based on play to this point in the game or on the profile of opponents developed before the match.
- Communicate the chosen option to those involved in its execution. In the event of disruption to the chosen option, make quick decisions to use other options.
- At breaks in play, involve others in decision-making.
- Attacking options, i.e. when in possession, should take account of the opposing team’s defensive behaviour and exploit the best available space.
- Defensive options, i.e. when not in possession, should be chosen to create uncertainty in the opposing team by reducing their attacking space and options.
- Communicate clearly the pattern to be used.
- Make the most effective tackle for the situation that takes into account the ball carrier’s relative body size.
- Move into the tackle.
- Take appropriate action so that attacking plays are stopped as soon as possible.
- Develop an effective cover defensive role by moving with the ball if it is passed by the designated ball carrier before the player is tackled.