Who’s been rucking it?

Written by Pierre McLeod (pierre_mackie)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 5 Apr 2012 at 13:00
Tagged with : , ,

One of the comments that came through this week was that the Sharks need to do some work at the ruck, getting quick and clean ball. We know that the Sharks have a lot of ball carriers in Alberts, Bismarck, Chadwick, Coetzee, Sykes and even Daniel, but that doesn’t leave many players to clean the ruck.

The ideal situation would be for guys like Chadwick, Jannie, Sykes and Marais to clean the ruck. Unfortunately Bismarck and Daniel can’t be at the breakdown every tackle to create a turnover or force a penalty, that’s why your tight 5 should be there to do the ground work. I know the forwards are generally the heavier okes on the field so it might not always happen, but that doesn’t give them the right to stand on the wing.

With Daniel and Bismarck arriving first at the scene they’ll go for the ball and either force the turnover or a penalty is generally the outcome.

You want guys like Alberts, Bismarck and Deysel to be your first receivers, breaking through the first or second tackler and offload to Daniel or Coetzee or even a player like Botes when he comes on, just like he did against the Bulls in the opening round of the competition. You don’t want to play the boring old “stamp kar” rugby, but if you take the players the Sharks have and the ability of the backs to attack from anywhere, you need to hit the phases and play to your strengths.

In saying this you also need your players to hit that ruck hard and clean quick ball for those backs, you can’t afford your centres to do the cleaning and then have Jannie or Chadwick in the midfield or on the wing.

Let’s have a look at who’s been hitting the rucks:

Alberts (11) Whitehead (10) Bismarck (9) Daniel and Coetzee (7) Viljoen (6)

Turnovers from Daniel (5) and Bismarck (3)

Where are Jannie, Chadwick, Sykes and Marais? I know it’s not only their job to clean, but if they not cleaning where are they? You have all your ball carriers hitting the rucks, they should be drawing the defensive line and being there to try and get the turnover when player goes to ground. Well done Daniel and Bismarck.

Who is taking over from Whitehead when he’s not there, and also to see Viljoen in the top 5 players rucking it, don’t get me wrong if you have to you have to, but it’s just a concern for me.

For the Sharks to play according to their strength they should keep hitting it up and have the guys there to clean the ball and let their backs do the running, I know it sounds easier than it is, but if you look at the players it is do able.

Let’s look at the last 6 results

23 Apr 2011 Sharks v Hurricanes 40-24 Durban
27 Mar 2010 Sharks v Hurricanes 29-26 Wellington
04 Apr 2009 Sharks v Hurricanes 33-17 Durban
05 Apr 2008 Sharks v Hurricanes 13-13 Wellington
17 Mar 2007 Sharks v Hurricanes 27-14 Durban
24 Mar 2006 Sharks v Hurricanes 17-23 Wellington
Sharks overall record against the Hurricanes
Played 14, Wins 7, Losses 6, Draws 1

Sharks definitely having the upper hand in the last couple of seasons.

The way the Sharks have been playing this year, the evidence is there for another close game, but we can always hope for a repeat of last year…

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  • I agree. Could have been my comments earlier in the week. 😉 :mrgreen:

  • Comment 1, posted at 05.04.12 13:35:11 by Pokkel Reply
    Friend of SharksworldCompetition Winner Author
  • Very true pierre! Great read!

  • Comment 2, posted at 05.04.12 13:45:36 by Die Kriek Reply

  • Agree with most of the content, but I wouldn’t call Chadwick a primary ball-carrier.

    Ultimately, if you have a good backline, you really need your forwards to not get too imaginative, and ensure that they get passionate about the donkey-work.

  • Comment 3, posted at 05.04.12 16:14:38 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • @Big Fish (Comment 3) : It’s a kak job but that’s what they get paid to do at the end of the day.

  • Comment 4, posted at 05.04.12 16:25:32 by Ben Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
  • Every player on the field should be equally adept at clearing the ruck. The days are long gone where it´s only a forward´s job.

    My main gripe with our rucks is the poor technique of our players. They are very upright when they enter and try to clear the rucks from the top down, which actually helps the opposition to keep their footing.

    Watch all the other sides – they go in low, get under the opposition and ruck upward so that they get them off their feet.

  • Comment 5, posted at 05.04.12 16:26:46 by rhineshark Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Spirit of Rugby
  • Thank you, I’ve been asking the same questions..what’s Jannie, Marais and co doing on the field? Guys are just not involved and we wonder why we spend most of our time in the second half defending…when these players do hit a ruck, we give away a penalty because of poor technique. That to me says that rucking is not big on Plum’s agenda…teams like the Stormers will ruck you silly. Thanks Pierre, please post more of these stats. I believe this is where a game is lost or won. I’ve been complaining about this for ages, at last I have stats to back up my earlier reading of our tactics.

  • Comment 6, posted at 05.04.12 19:46:12 by GreatSharksays Reply

  • @Die Kriek (Comment 2) : Thanks I do my best . . . 😈

  • Comment 7, posted at 06.04.12 07:06:16 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • @Original Pierre (Comment 7) : hahaha

  • Comment 8, posted at 06.04.12 21:00:18 by pierre_mackie Reply
  • @pierre_mackie (Comment 8) : :mrgreen:

  • Comment 9, posted at 07.04.12 09:23:51 by Original Pierre Reply
    Original Pierre
  • Who’s been rucking it? Everyone but the Sharks 🙄

  • Comment 10, posted at 07.04.12 09:49:17 by JarsonX Reply
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