Rugby positions Scrum half / Halfback by Adam Price
The scrum half is the yappy little general who is the key component in linking the big marauding forwards to the glamour happy backs. Usually one of the smaller players on the field, the halfback makes up for his obvious physical disadvantages and small man syndrome with tenacity, fight, mongrel and good old fashioned heart. He directs the forwards on where to concentrate on defense and where to go on offense. They receive the ball from the line-out and remove the ball from the back of the scrum, usually passing it to the flyhalf. They also feed the scrum and sometimes have to act as a fourth loose forward. Along with the flyhalf they make many of the tactical decisions on the field.
On defense, the halfback closes the gaps left around the ruck and the scrum and will bring down the biggest, ugliest, and dumbest forwards in a similar fashion to David vs Goliath. He also is responsible for the cover defense. This is the defense behind the defensive line set by the rest of the team. If the opposition makes a break, the Jack Russell of the team is there to snuff it out before it hurts the team too much, almost in a football safety manner.
The mighty midget of the team primary roles are to deliver good quality ball for the backline, to launch attacks and ensure the forwards are creating the good quality ball with momentum going forward, and to support the ball carrier at all times to keep the play going. The playing relationship between the halfback and fly half is probably the most important on the field. All great halfbacks have had a great flyhalf outside them and vice versa.
Essential skills for halfback: Long pass, fitness, tenacity, strong runner , cunning and a kicking game
Players to emulate : Will Genia, George Gregan, Joost van der Westhuizen, Fourie du Preez
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