The ghost of try time

To Kick or Not to Kick?

Written by cheers had fun (The ghost of try time)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super 14 on 10 Mar 2010 at 08:10

The correct reading of the Laws this year by referees has changed the game a lot in one year, and the one Law that is putting teams under pressure the most is the correct reading of the off side law when players kick the ball. Below I’ll try and explain why the fullback must not kick up and unders.

Above we see a typical set up when the fullback collects the ball and kicks. The orange circle the kicker, blue circles are the team mates on side and the red circles represent the players offside.  The green cross is where the ball will land and all team mates in the vicinity (it is usually more than ten meters, as where the ball is going to land is uncertain until it does) of where the ball will land have to retreat. All the other off side team mates have to remain still until put on side by either the kicker or either of the two onside (blue) team mates. As we have seen in the past four games Stefan gets the ball and kicks an up and under. Usually JP and Odwa are at the back with him. Odwa hangs back, to be in place for a ball that is returned, Stefan runs up field to try and recover the ball he kicked (so far he has been unsuccessful in every attempt) and JP…I’ve yet to work out what he does.  Last year the Sharks’ players ahead of Stefan organised themselves into a defensive wall. However this year no-one is allowed to move (other than the players retreating out of the ten meter zone) until Stefan has passed them. This has left the Sharks defence full of holes allowing opposition to break right back into Sharks territory, and in the Cheetahs game it  allowed their fullback to waltz all the way to the try line.

Now above is a typical setup of a scrum or lineout with the backline in place. Here the damage of an up and under is minimal as if the flyhalf kicks as above, he as enough on side players to defend and the forward momentum of the backline will put the rest of the players on side before the ball lands. So other than the possibility of losing possession, the chance of the opposition breaking the defence is minimal.

So basically the above diagrams show that kicking isn’t all bad, but it is suicidal if it is a full back kicking. So what option does the full back have? One if he has to kick, it has to be out and as far up field as possible, as he is handing possession over to the opposition. Or the best option, that Daniller used well on Saturday, is running the ball into the thick of your team mates and setting up good attacking ball. The logic is basic, if you are pegged in your half by the opposition, make sure  you have the ball and support around you.


  • this hopefully explains why i get irritated with stefan.

  • Comment 1, posted at 10.03.10 08:14:19 by try time Reply
  • To many players in the second illustration… thus your point is lost. 😆 😆

    Just kidding, I agree… stop kicking when the chances of retaining possesion is slim

  • Comment 2, posted at 10.03.10 08:28:12 by Farlington Reply
  • @Farlington (Comment 2) : no the second diagram is of the opposition. the referee is on their side. 😈 😈

  • Comment 3, posted at 10.03.10 08:32:07 by try time Reply
  • Good explanation. Forward to Plum asap!

  • Comment 4, posted at 10.03.10 08:36:48 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 4) : no i won’t. if he is too stupid to work this one out, then he must lose the next 9 games so he gets a boot up his… 👿

  • Comment 5, posted at 10.03.10 08:40:41 by try time Reply

  • I nominate Morne as head coach and TT as backline coach. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 6, posted at 10.03.10 08:47:23 by Pokkel Reply
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  • The above also shows why we are missing a lot of first up tackles. it is difficult stopping the ball catcher if your defensive line isn’t in place. most fans see the missed tackles as the reason for the sharks getting stuck in their half, but it is the kick that puts the defenders in trouble.

  • Comment 7, posted at 10.03.10 08:50:31 by try time Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 6) : ex-tits and ass together. 😆

  • Comment 8, posted at 10.03.10 08:51:02 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 8) : Wonderful combination

  • Comment 9, posted at 10.03.10 08:54:02 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 9) : what amazes me is if dumbass fans like morne and me can see basics like this, why can’t supposedly learned coaches, and a 34 year old full back? 😯 😯

  • Comment 10, posted at 10.03.10 08:58:17 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 10) : All you need to add is a kopdokter and fitness coach and all will be well. 😀

  • Comment 11, posted at 10.03.10 09:00:49 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 11) : 😆

  • Comment 12, posted at 10.03.10 09:06:00 by try time Reply

  • Story coming out of DBN this AM is Ludik is crocked again seems the knee swelled up and he is back in rehab no indication of how long he will be out for

  • Comment 13, posted at 10.03.10 09:15:41 by Fattmann Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 11) : I forgot…get rid of Straueli and appoint Louis Luyt 😉 :mrgreen:

  • Comment 14, posted at 10.03.10 09:15:58 by Pokkel Reply
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  • Has ludik played with a similar style in the Sharks XV games he’s participated in, i.e. kick everything away? Or has he been more inclined to run? What confuses me most about terblanche is that he played most of his career at wing, you’d think he prefer keeping the ball in hand to running it so much.

  • Comment 15, posted at 10.03.10 09:17:00 by justinwhufc Reply

  • @Fattmann (Comment 13) : thats great. just when we need an attacking fullback. 🙄

  • Comment 16, posted at 10.03.10 09:17:30 by try time Reply

  • @justinwhufc (Comment 15) : he used to kick everything away at wing as well. i remember the good ol days in the stands swearing at him for kicking the ball ahead while he was running along the try line. it would be nice to see some old games to see.

  • Comment 17, posted at 10.03.10 09:19:37 by try time Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 14) : luyt lives up the road, so it won’t be a schlepp. he is part owner of ballito.

  • Comment 18, posted at 10.03.10 09:20:43 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 18) : and he won’t take any kak either 😆

  • Comment 19, posted at 10.03.10 09:22:36 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 17) : I just looked at te S14 teams of the week and it seems that few agree with you Oom is the F/B on all but 1!!!!

  • Comment 20, posted at 10.03.10 09:23:58 by Fattmann Reply
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  • Hey who you calling a dumbass!!!! 😆

    Anycase, the problem is not so much in the kick, it is in the execution of it, and the general appreciation of the laws around it.

    Gents you will be shocked to see how little players (and some coaches) know of the laws, or the interpretations of it.

    An effective kicking game is still a great weapon, because with rugby at this level, you cannot afford to play the game in your own half too often.

    Communication between players is also vital in a kicking game, or the application of it.

    You need to identify the chasers, the defensive lodgers (guys retreating beyond the 10 meter circle and forming a line of defense) and the kick-back defender (guy or guys at the back that will field possible return kicks).

    It is simple communication, observation and an appreciation for the laws.

  • Comment 21, posted at 10.03.10 09:31:54 by Morné Reply
  • @Morné (Comment 21) : I was waiting for that response…. 😆

  • Comment 22, posted at 10.03.10 09:35:11 by Pokkel Reply
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  • On a different note I see Ludick has crocked his knee again. The Sharks buying injury prone players is going to cost them this year. Mostert and Ludick having a paid holiday at Umhlanga 🙄

  • Comment 23, posted at 10.03.10 09:36:54 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Fattmann (Comment 20) : this from 365.
    15 – Stefan Terblanche (Sharks):
    He may have his critics and has lost a yard or two of his pace, but he was not out of position once and played a big role in steadying the Sharks’ ship when it was floundering.
    Bubbling under: Hennie Daniller (Cheetahs)
    Totally misses the facts. Last year being in position was everything, this year attack and possession is more important. Supersport seem to be more clued up. I see some bloggers were shocked at stefan getting it.

    but in stefans defence, in the last 20 when he did attack, the sharks looked a whole lot better. but a player shouldn’t be selected for 20 minutes of good play.

  • Comment 24, posted at 10.03.10 09:37:48 by try time Reply

  • a lot was made of the boks’ kick & chase strategy by the aussies & kiwis, they referred to it as boring and pointed out that the kicking team depended on the opposition making mistakes rather than their own creativity to attack & score points. Again this is not a new law, it is just being interpreted to the letter & the refs have tasked to be strict on it…

    If you consider that, one of habana’s tries in the currie cup final, a box kick by du preez was actually an offside that jonathan kaplan missed, because habana was already in full flight & in front of du preez before the ball left du preez’s foot, one can understand the emphasis by sanzar to apply the law strictly.

    how this affects the Sharks, well, since plumtree took over the sharks backline adopted a counter-attacking strategy as their main weapon of choice. This meant stefan, jpp & odwa had to be solid under the high ball, only to return it in kind & the force the turnover on the opposition! this was a departure from the dick muir days where jpp was top tryscorer of the super14.

    This strategy worked for the sharks @ the beginning of the season, but teams like the reds figured it out and were clinical in their fielding of kicks & attacking wide with the resultant abundant possession and the sharks imploded spectacularly towards the home stretch because boyd & bashford didn’t have a plan b of attack, not one iota of creativity. Let’s also not forget that the sharks had francois steyn at pivot for most of the games & he was no creative bright spark [collect the pass frans, bash it up, carry as much as you can & die down with it, don’t look to offload off the tackle, just create another phase, the rory will pick it up & box kick]

    This season, i haven’t seen any change or innovation in their play. Plum has only given lipservice to “giving the ball some air” yet when you see the backline taking it wide every player is in a standing position & just ferries the ball wide until the wing is cornered close to the touchline. ruan isn’t running straight or holding the ball up until swannie or adi @ 12 can join the line @ pace to collect the off-load (see wynand olivier in the past 3 games)

    I haven’t seen the sharks execute a move form 1st phase ball that allows jpp or odwa to bust through the defence in the manner that jpp & habana did against the b&i lions @ loftus.

    If the sharks keep kicking, they will see theor cloacas!!!! I guarantee it

  • Comment 25, posted at 10.03.10 09:38:55 by Megatron Reply

  • @Morné (Comment 21) : i kept it simple and then you come and confuse everyone. 😆

  • Comment 26, posted at 10.03.10 09:39:14 by try time Reply

  • @Pokkel (Comment 23) : Not sure how long he will be out for trying to find out but from what i understand this is like Waylons knee so the key here is to take time with the rehab and if he is only fit for the CC then so be it

  • Comment 27, posted at 10.03.10 09:42:03 by Fattmann Reply
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  • @Megatron (Comment 25) : brutal but true. cannot argue with anything said there.

  • Comment 28, posted at 10.03.10 09:43:21 by try time Reply

  • Blaming Stefan for a gameplan seems a tad one eyed but i guess in desperate times someones gonna get nailed.

  • Comment 29, posted at 10.03.10 09:43:47 by billy Reply

  • @billy (Comment 29) : we have no proof that it is a game plan. but a veteran of 34 should know better. he has no excuse.

  • Comment 30, posted at 10.03.10 09:48:41 by try time Reply

  • @Morné (Comment 21) : i agree morne, because if you look @ carter in the sadersvsblues game last sat, he was the difference, his kicks were inch perfect in finding touch & pinning the blues in their 22 and forcing them to make mistakes there…stefan & odwa’s kicking is just aimless!! No attempt to find touch whatsoever!

  • Comment 31, posted at 10.03.10 09:53:54 by Megatron Reply

  • Sometimes the up and under pays of when you can take the ball cleanly and make a break but Sharks are good with the ball in hand and when they commit to the rucks they can play with the ball and keep it in play for many phases. Keep it in hand and if nothing is happening kick it out and set up the lineout.

  • Comment 32, posted at 10.03.10 09:57:04 by lostfish Reply
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  • @Megatron (Comment 31) : yes but carter is the fly half. so it also backs my argument.

  • Comment 33, posted at 10.03.10 09:58:07 by try time Reply

  • @lostfish (Comment 32) : you have got it. 😀

  • Comment 34, posted at 10.03.10 09:58:51 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 30) : If it wasnt the gameplan he would have been dropped by now. If he is the reason for our poor season as i assume you believe.

  • Comment 35, posted at 10.03.10 10:03:21 by billy Reply

  • @billy (Comment 35) : for who? risk pat lambie. plum is a conservative coach, he isn’t going to take gambles like that. but i agree with you if it is a gameplan, then the sharks are in trouble.

  • Comment 36, posted at 10.03.10 10:10:47 by try time Reply

  • here is another question? if stefan is going to kick, where is jp? this is a big concern. we have seen how effective jp can be putting catchers under pressure. so why is he not chasing the geriatrics kicks?

  • Comment 37, posted at 10.03.10 10:17:56 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 36) : I would love to see Lambie play,i think he’s the next big thing in SA rugga. I have known Stefan for 10 years plus and can not believe he is kicking on his own instinct. That said i havent spoken to him and on the balance of evidence your observations are not wrong. Just not keen to nail one oke for a bad run (no pun intended), although my bias is obvious.

  • Comment 38, posted at 10.03.10 10:19:09 by billy Reply

  • @billy (Comment 38) : i understand, and as 365 says stefan is excellent positionally. and as he showed on saturday when he held onto the ball he was brilliant. so as one of the leaders in the team, maybe he should make more decisions to run it. then he’ll have my full backing. get it full backing full back. 😆 😆 sorry, i only picked it up as i wrote it.

  • Comment 39, posted at 10.03.10 10:23:17 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 39) : Am very passionate about my Sharks and love healthy debate but when you start calling players geriatrics i cant seem to be bothered to continue. Later.

  • Comment 40, posted at 10.03.10 10:25:43 by billy Reply

  • @billy (Comment 40) : in rugby terms 34 is retirement age in backs. so i apologise for any offence caused.

  • Comment 41, posted at 10.03.10 10:27:39 by try time Reply

  • ger·i·at·ric? ?/?d??ri?ætr?k, ?d???r-/ Show Spelled[jer-ee-a-trik, jeer-] Show IPA
    1.of or pertaining to geriatrics, old age, or aged persons.
    2.Slang. an old person

  • Comment 42, posted at 10.03.10 10:30:02 by try time Reply

  • @billy (Comment 40) : ja, just ignore try time. He suffers from deep-seated anger issues which he likes take out on people who can’t answer him. It’s all jealousy, you know 🙂

  • Comment 43, posted at 10.03.10 10:30:57 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 43) : damn right. i wish stefan would answer me with an 80 minute performance of attacking rugby we all know he can produce. and that jp will get off his ass and help stefan get back kicked ball. it isn’t a lot i ask. 😆

  • Comment 44, posted at 10.03.10 10:35:16 by try time Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 43) : and i am angered because it is a few individual performances that are making the team as a whole look pathetic.

  • Comment 45, posted at 10.03.10 10:36:36 by try time Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 43) : so definitely can’t argue with you there. 😆

  • Comment 46, posted at 10.03.10 10:37:12 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 42) : you just love pouring oil on the flames, don’t you?

  • Comment 47, posted at 10.03.10 10:38:56 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 47) : at least i take what i give. 😉

  • Comment 48, posted at 10.03.10 10:40:24 by try time Reply

  • I still disagree that if the Sharks kicking game are turned around to a more positive one, that, that will be the turn around for the Sharks.
    I do agree the kicking of late has not been perfect, but that it is a very superficial problem and not the answer to the Shark’s form of late.
    Stefan does not use the up and under nearly as much as he did last year, in fact most of his kicking is directed at touch, admittedly it doesn’t always find touch and that’s not ideal, but not the catastrophe you make it out to be.
    I believe the box kick of the scrum-half is just as effective or in-effective…whichever way you’d like to see it…as it has been before.

    I never liked the up and under, since it literally is just throwing things up in the air and seeing where it lands for you. That’s not my style, if you’re good enough you keep the ball and create things for yourself.

    So again here you seem to possibly be right, except that if the Sharks kept possession of the ball and kept on doing what they did in particularly the first three games it would not have made one bit of difference.

    Stefan will start running more when he knows things are working in front of him. That’s the experience of a 34 year old…

  • Comment 49, posted at 10.03.10 10:45:19 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 49) : letgo the simplest way to answer all that is go back to the second half of the game on saturday. (i would say the whole game, but that would be torture) look at the sharks in general. look at the set pieces. you will see they were good. look at our backline. it was solid but a little stagnant. but make a note of when we started making ground and how many phases were played in that period. and then ask yourself how many phases are there in a kick. but the thing you’ll pick on immediately is that when stefan stop kicking, the sharks got out their half and looked like the sharks we love.

  • Comment 50, posted at 10.03.10 10:51:40 by try time Reply

  • oh i must apologise to stefan, there is a 90 year old playing rugby in japan. dolf is still trying to get him contracted for the sharks. 😆 😆

  • Comment 51, posted at 10.03.10 10:55:48 by try time Reply

  • i didn’t want to do this. but i actually taped the game. i might get drunk enough to watch it again and count the ball stefan received and what percentage of it he kicked. i suppose that is fair.

  • Comment 52, posted at 10.03.10 10:59:55 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 52) : How drunk must you get to watch all 4 games of the season so far? 😆

  • Comment 53, posted at 10.03.10 11:03:34 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 52) : so are you usually drunk when you compile your statistics? That explains a LOT 🙂

  • Comment 54, posted at 10.03.10 11:06:06 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 53) : that would be like watching titantic. oooooh, a bottle and a half of cheap n nasty whisky. 😆 😆

  • Comment 55, posted at 10.03.10 11:07:07 by try time Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 54) : do you do it sober? sheez, no wonder you are so grumpy. 😆 😆

  • Comment 56, posted at 10.03.10 11:08:16 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 52) : I’m doing that tonight, so don’t get drunk on account of that.
    @Pokkel (Comment 53) : I’ve watched all four game more than once and the earlier games more than twice…this is how you figure out what’s going on with the Sharks, not by judging them emotionally after each game.

    It’s not that bad when you get through the second one, you start to watch the game from an analytical point of view, instead of the emotional supporter point of view we all watch the game from the first time.

  • Comment 57, posted at 10.03.10 11:09:26 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 57) : thanks. i was hoping there was someone that would do it. i just can’t get the will power to watch that game again. 😆

  • Comment 58, posted at 10.03.10 11:11:45 by try time Reply

  • It’s my second week working as an administrator at my Dad’s company…he’ll be happy to know that this is what I keep myself busy with. 😆
    The Sharks and Sharks supporters are way to fun and interesting…stop it, keep this blog dull, I need to work. :mrgreen:

  • Comment 59, posted at 10.03.10 11:13:05 by Letgo Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 58) : 😆

  • Comment 60, posted at 10.03.10 11:13:56 by Letgo Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 57) : if you watch them so much, why aren’t you giving us decent articles. then people wouldn’t have to read my trash. well seeing that you are the websites newly appointed statistician, i am out of here. 29000 points was a good run. i may be back, to get the 30000. but maybe it would be better if i joined ice on the sidelines.

  • Comment 61, posted at 10.03.10 11:15:29 by try time Reply

  • @Letgo (Comment 59) : then my retirement will do just that for you. 😆

  • Comment 62, posted at 10.03.10 11:16:30 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 61) : I want to, but it seems like time management is not one of my strong suits.

  • Comment 63, posted at 10.03.10 11:29:23 by Letgo Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 62) : Did I just get rid of TT??? 😯

  • Comment 64, posted at 10.03.10 11:30:13 by Letgo Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 61) : Come now TT you can’t leave now, I don’t have the time to take up your share as well :mrgreen:

  • Comment 65, posted at 10.03.10 11:30:48 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 57) : Please come back to us with your analysis, I’d love to hear your point of view

  • Comment 66, posted at 10.03.10 11:32:20 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Letgo (Comment 64) : I think you did 😥

  • Comment 67, posted at 10.03.10 11:40:34 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 67) : 😉

  • Comment 68, posted at 10.03.10 12:01:37 by try time Reply

  • @try time (Comment 68) : So you will be back?

  • Comment 69, posted at 10.03.10 12:03:58 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 68) : Using that edit function for good use…..happy about that

  • Comment 70, posted at 10.03.10 12:18:33 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 69) : Like terminator.

  • Comment 71, posted at 10.03.10 12:20:37 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @try time (Comment 68) : and the answer to your question is no, do you?

  • Comment 72, posted at 10.03.10 12:25:52 by Pokkel Reply
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  • :mrgreen:

  • Comment 73, posted at 10.03.10 12:27:02 by Pokkel Reply
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  • @Pokkel (Comment 72) : no, just saw a pokkel that has a website. ok i am out of here now. need to leave that 30000 as a future challenge.

  • Comment 74, posted at 10.03.10 12:30:13 by try time Reply

  • @Megatron (Comment 25) :
    Eish, sigh, dang…….I agree with you.

  • Comment 75, posted at 10.03.10 12:37:38 by Salmonoid Reply
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  • @Megatron (Comment 25) : superb post, all things considered. Nice one, Megas

  • Comment 76, posted at 10.03.10 12:39:16 by robdylan Reply
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