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Back You are here: Home Sports Rugby Other The SBW Offload. Do we need it?
Monday, 18 July 2011 10:16

The SBW Offload. Do we need it?

There was a new kid on the block at this year’s Craven Week rugby tournament and he seemed to make an appearance in virtually every match that was played!


TL_899532No we are not talking about an actual player but rather a new way of passing the ball that seems to have come straight out of New Zealand and in particular from the All Black centre Sonny Bill Williams.

This new fever seemed to percolated uncontrolled around Diamantveld during the entire Craven Week and  is evidence of how much the New Zealanders unique ability to off load the ball has penetrated the minds of the young players. However is this good for the game in South Africa? 

Like any fever the “Sonny Bill Williams” fever is very contagious with few players able to fight off the temptation to attempt to emulate SBW in his style of play.

Rather than trying to keep possession of the ball many of the players tried to imitate the New Zealand centre and attempted to offload the ball in the tackle with varying success.

The big headache for the national schools selectors is not the sloppy game that results from this new trend but to try to eradicate this “skill” before it reaches the SA Schools and SA u20 levels.

The Baby Boks in this year’s Junior World Cup in Italy lost their matches mainly due to a plethora of unforced  errors and this was highlighted in their match against England where this type of play cost them dearly.

The Baby Boks coach, Dawie Theron and his management will need to build up for next years Junior World Championship buy doing all they can to eliminate these glitches from the young South African players game and to wean them off the Sonny Bill Williams offload.

Despite this “Willaims Fever”, Theron was positive about what the future holds saying that, “There was certainly a lot of talent with good scummers and lineout players. The quality of the players tactical kicking was also very good and the future looks very promising.

Perhaps this is just the rantings of an old fashioned rugby player or should we rather embrace this new way of playing? Let's hear your opinion.