Lions are SA’s best offloaders

JOHN MITCHELL, on the Vodacom Rugby Portal, explains why offloading is a cultural rather than formal phenomenon.

The Hurricanes made 17 offloads during their 29-23 win against the Crusaders in Wellington last Saturday. Four of those happened in the passage of play that began with Beauden Barrett collecting a kick near his 10m line and finished with Blade Thomson scoring a crucial try.

From observation, the Hurricanes don't force the offload. They look after the ball at the tackle line, and if the tackle is effective, they take the ball to ground. If it isn't, the players have clearly been afforded the freedom by the coaching staff to keep the ball alive pre- and post-tackle line if there's no traffic. They trust their support and stick to their shape. It's a feeling thing really. It’s intuition.

Read the rest of Mitchell's column

Photo: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images

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