Saturday, April 07, 2007

Role of the #8 on engagement

I had a great opportunity yesterday to see some of the NA4 preparation, and with that a conversation with one of the specialist coaches. We talked primarily about the role of the #8 as relates to power generation in the scrum.

I've seen and coached #8s to engage a variety of different ways:

Feet shoulder width or more apart, essentially even.
The "slingshot", as part of the total impact method
The "sprint start", with feet split legged like a sprinter, driving forward off the front foot.

What you'll see in the video here is yet another variation. The #8 sets up split legged, as he would for a sprint style start, but instead of driving forward, he actually drops his forward leg back. The resulting effect is that gravity immediately drops him low and forward, propelling the locks ahead of him.

Please forgive the poor quality, it's a cell phone video. Thoughts?


OBG said...

Given the new four-count engagement, I wonder if teams who were previously trying to maximize initial engagement force (via slingshot for example) have now moved their concentration on sustained force (force after the ball is throw in, which, by law, is when it should occur). If so, would that change the engagement pattern of No. 8?

I think (without data to back me up), that it is probably better for the 8 to concentrate more on doing his or her part of maintaining the stable platform so that the combination of forces of the scrum working together isn't lost (through musculoskeltal systems because of bad form).

Don't get me wrong, the 8 can't relax, but the 8 should be worried about getting the most out of the seconds.

Kentucky said...

Whatever allows the 8 to keep the ball in the scrum.....that's what I vote for ;)

KLK said...

Very cool, I showed it to our 8-man and it's something to consider...

Anonymous said...

Lisa et all, I was wondering what your opinion is on No. 8 setting and working from the 1 or 3 channel (between locks and flankers) rather than the 2 channel?