# 9 – The Scrum Half
In football terms, he’s like the quarterback. He has his hands on every pass from the scrums, line outs and break downs (meaning a tackle has been made, his forwards have either won or retained possession) and he will either make a pass to an oncoming forward or the Fly Half.
The scrum half is important because he's the liaison between the forwards and the backs, he roams the pitch, from touch line to touch line with his forwards instructing them on where the ball is and what do and when he wants it.
The scrum restarts play after a minor breach of the laws. It’s a contest for possession of the ball with a small advantage given to the non-offending team. The scrum half of the non-offending team puts the ball into the scrum but only when the hooker is ready and waiting.
If the forwards do a good job, the ball moves through the scrum to the feet of the number-eight. Prior to the ball being put in, a decision about what to do with the ball has been made and confirmed:
That could include:
- A lightening fast attacking run by the scrum half
- A move involving the number-eight and the scrum half
- A tactical kick by the scrum half
- Whipping the ball out to the backs to begin their attack
As scrum half he's in the thick of it and he has to be able to call on superior running, handling, kicking and thinking skills. As scrum half, he is razor sharp, able to size things up and use his skills to make the best of the situation. When the opposition gets the ball, the scrum half must hound his opposite and provide covering defense.
The Line Out
Duties for the scrum half are similar to the scrum, he must know what has been decided and where the ball is going to go, move quickly and get the ball out to the backs accurately. The scrum half tends to be a smaller, more elusive, skillful and “a cheeky” player, he works hard to confuse the opposition with sniping runs and the unexpected kicks and passes. Mixing up the options by passing, kicking and running, especially elusive running creates uncertainty in the opposition which is a great advantage for the team.
The scrum half is a vital position, very much about service – a good pass the the fly half, agility, handling skills, speed, thinking, vision, kicking and evasion. No pressure!!!