Slow ball management Posted over 12 years ago

Photo: Jeanfrancois Beausejour, Monaco

In each match you play, if you are doing really well at the breakdown you will win 70% quick ball and 30% slow ball. Therefore, the way you manage slow ball is vital to your chances of winning the game.

Your aim from a breakdown which has produced slow ball is to get the advantage back by either generating quick ball and/or cutting a number of defenders off so that from your next attack you have a numerical advantage.

By using two passes rather than the traditional one pass you can achieve this.

You set your 10 at a normal passing distance. Have one forward inside (option 1) and two forwards outside (option 2) with a back behind the two forwards so you can also play wide (option 3).

This formation has plenty of options – attacking the A/B defenders (the two closest to the ruck) with option one, the D/E/F defenders (those wider in defensive line) with option 2, or even wider with option 3.

If the defence over-reads the setup, the 10 can run himself, which shows how many variations you can have to keep the defence guessing in order to re-gain the advantage.

That is the most effective way of managing slow to ensure you receive quick, clean possession from as many breakdowns as possible.

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Eddie Jones has had an extensive coaching career holding roles with teams including the Brumbies, Reds, Saracens, Australia, South Africa and most recently Suntory. Following on from successfully leading the ACT Brumbies to their first Super 12 title in 2001 Jones took charge of the Wallabies for the 2003 World Cup on home soil, and fell at the final hurdle as his side were defeated in extra time of the final by Clive Woodward's England. He continued on as coach until 2005, when his contract was terminated following a wretched run of results. From here Jones had a stint in an advisory capacity with English side Saracens and in 2007 was then appointed Queensland Reds coach. He then turned his back on coaching Australia again when he signed in an advisory role with South Africa working closely with head coach Jake White, securing the 2007 World Cup. After the World Cup Jones took up a full time position back at Saracens as director of rugby but left in 2009 for a role with Japanese side Suntory. Jones remains in Japan and is now head coach of the Japanese national side.

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