Any tips for playing hooker?
i'm playing rugby tomorrow with all my mates like 15 against 15 and i was told that i would be playing hooker. i've played rugby but not as a hooker before. i dont mind playing there though cause im a well built guy so i can take the hits and all that. i was just looking for tips that all like at the scrum and that.
Generally, in my experience, hookers tend to like opposition hookers striking at their own ball about as much as barmen like strangers getting behind the bar and serving themselves so it's really up to you to guage what kind of advantage you'll be bringing to your team if you start trying to mix it up with someone who may not look like they're going to tear you to pieces but by virtue of their having significantly more experience than you in the front row, will do just that. A guy who's been hanging between those two fat sweaty guts with a head on them since he was seven years old will know from the offset, as soon as you pack down to the first scrum, if you've never hooked before and if you start pulling out all the tricks from the offset then he's going to bore a hole straight through you and make you wish you'd stayed on the wing.
My tips for hooker would be to organise your lineout, communicate properly with them before and after the throw in.
Ensure that every throw is straight and well timed for your jumper.
Strike for and win your own ball in the scrum. Contribute to your team's defensive effort on their put in by pushing in unison with your pack with both feet firmly on the ground. Don't ever put your feet in their side of the scrum unless you're keen on ending up in a wheelchair.
Get around the park as much as you possibly can and make as many tackles as you can.
If you're late arriving at a ruck, think about what your team is trying to do and if necessary get out of the way of the scrum half or, better still, put yourself in a position to be a support runner inside your fly half. Don't sit on the wing waiting for play to come back to you and if arriving late to a breakdown that is already lost, put yourself in front of your fly half and threequarters (watch the offside) and go and nail their fly half/center.
Hooker is a selfless role and one where you should work hard between phases at organizing your pack and ensuring that your forwards keep piling on pressure as a unit. This is done by talking, often shouting instructions and communicating verbally with your scrum half.
Ask your props to show up early for warm ups and work on your bind with them. Being comfortable with them is of upmost importance. As a previous answerer stated, you will need to make sure they get nice and low. It's a tremendous advantage on the engagement.
Next, when warming up, make sure your second row enters the bind by putting their heads in low, at the knees, and then moving their heads up into position rather than your props making room for them. Once you and your props are bound comfortably and tight, don't do anything to jeopardize that. On the same note, when you croutch, do it in a fluid movement as one. The more you as a hooker move around and adjust at this point, the looser the scrum is. You don't want that.
Have your props bind however you are most comfortable. Traditionally they bind on your shorts, however it may be worth a try to have your tight head take their bind at your collar (around your back and up at the collar). It is a little weird at first, but gives you more freedom of motion with your striking foot/leg.
Striking at the ball: Two things. Although you must keep contact with the ground with both feet until the ball is put in, you don't have to be planted. Avoid putting weight on that leg. That's what your prop is for. You should also never make contact on the engagement ahead of your props. Watch the angle of all of the front row shoulders.
Next, never take your eye off the ball. Sounds like common sense, huh? While waiting for the put in, slightly turn your head so you are staring the ball down. Keep your chin/head up so you don't get hurt! (I'm sure your props will tell you that!)
Finally, after you strike the ball, just keep those feet moving! Continuing the forward/driving motion is critical.
Oh, one more thing, when your props line up to bind onto you, position your left leg in front of and around the right leg of your prop. Your foot should be almost behind his. That will make you more comfortable and open up the openning for you to strike into.
2. Decide with your scrum mates whether it will be an eight-man shove, rather than seven-man shove/ one man hook; coordinate* with your scrum half to catch opposing pack by surprise.
3. Learn to hook with both legs so's you can steal the occasional put-in by the opposition.
4. Coordinate* with your scrum half so he occasionally puts the ball in on the "other side" and catches the the opposing pack by surprise.
* By pre-arranged signal(s) or call(s)
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