The scrum half has become the most influential player in the game.
With the ref being insistent on the tackler rolling away the amount of quick ruck ball has considerably increased – the area hardest to defend now is the first 3 defenders around the ruck. Defenders are scrambling – tending to come off the line laterally – allowing the 9 more latitude to pick up and run.
The good 9 s like Fourie and Genia attack the outside shoulder of the second defender and then have 2 or 3 runners attacking the fringe defenders.
If the ball is slower and the first 3 defenders are set, the 9s will not run but pass in the more traditional way – off the deck to a running forward or the standoff.
Good 9s pick their opportunity to attack on the speed of the ruck ball, as the speed of the ruck ball dictates the ability of the first 3 ruck defenders to take space square.
As soon as a defender turns his shoulders – the good 9s light up!