Winning turnovers…the Sam Warburton tribute.
In Today’s game matches are won and lost in the contact battle. It’s simply not possible to win the contest without the ball and the job of the Openside Flanker is to go hunting that magic pill for 80 minutes. Of course, every rugby player must be able to compete at the breakdown. However above all others, at ruck-time it’s the man wearing number seven on his back who is charged with that duty.
To illustrate how to do this why don’t we look at one of the best in the business; Welsh and British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton.
His ability to contest for the ball and win turner overs is evident immediately, and if you’re a young inspiring back-rower then there are a few key things to look for. From the opening 10 seconds of this video, watch the speed at which he hones in on the ball. If you can get there first, then that’s half the battle won, but then you need the power to stay there. Notice the strength he gets from his body position. With a wide stance, low centre of gravity, still legally supporting his own body weight, he wins the penalty for his team.
Also highlighted throughout the clip is the kind of attitude you need to play in the back-row. Even when Warburton is the tackler he is never content with just stopping the man. You can almost read his mind because there is only one thing going through it: ‘ball….ball…ball… ballballBALL..where’s the ball? WHERE IS THE BALL …!!!!?
For more tips on how to ‘Jackal‘ over the ball, click the link.
Video Credit: peoplepleaser77