Who Are The Leading Blindside Flankers In South Africa @ 1stXV Level?

Photo by Poppie Terblanche/Speedshots.co.za

Bart Schoeman and I analysed most of the available footage of 1stXV games (2020) during the "lockdown" weeks and attempted to identify our top players in each position.

The Top blindside flankers (#7) we identified were: 1. Luca Ribbens (Paarl Boishaai), 2. Renzo du Plessis (Ben Vorster), 3. Joshua Hanekom (Boland Landbou), 4. Cornelius Volschenk (Grey College), 5. Marko de Witt (Boland Landbou).

The following boys also caught our attention: Derick Marshall (Kearsney College), Pieter Jordaan (Kempton Park Park), Deon le Roux (Grey College), Tyler Skudder (Helpmekaar)

Please keep in mind that we ould only evaluate players of which we had footage available and our selections were based on the performance on that day. Furthermore, we do not claim that we know all and if you disagree you are welcome to contact me (carl@ruggas.co.za) or Bart (bart@sportscon365.com). If you feel that we missed a player please send details of where we can find the videos and/or links of videos. Coaches and parents are more than welcome to discuss the players and evaluation with the match analysis.


Listen to the discussion regarding the blindside flanker at 16:58 in the above RuggasTV episode

Please keep in mind that any technical and positional evaluation of a player must be reinforced by the following aspects for a player to grow in future and especially after school:

1) Strength of character. Any successful sportsman will need to apply himself in honesty, teamwork and full support of the system that he works under.
2) Work ethic and personal application to improve himself, in sport and off the field. He must be ‘coachable’
3) Lifestyle and value-driven. Being a sportsman full time, semi- or full professional, requires a dedicated lifestyle change to reach set goals and to become a better human being.

Flanker (Blindside) - A blindside flanker usually wears the #7 jersey (#6 in the rest of the world). They will usually be the larger and taller of the two flankers and be responsible for making big tackles and crossing the advantage line on the attack.

Position-specific Requirements:
1) He must have good ball skills and be able to run with agility, determination and commitment
2) His tackling skills must be aggressive and can gain or retain and distribute the ball.
3) He must be able to read the game and have vision especially develop the ability to tell where the next tackle will take place to retain the ball or cause a turnover.
4) He must be able to win the ball at the breakdown point.
5) He must have explosive pace off the mark.
6) He must be the fittest in the team with very good stamina.
7) He must be able to initiate an attack, especially from turnover ball won.
8) He needs to communicate effectively with other players.
Attack & Support
1) He must have pace, power and strength to provide impetus at the breakdowns.
2) he loose trio is the chain, which keeps the play moving forward, recycle the ball and give continuity with his skills.
3) He must be able to scrum. Flankers are expected to put their weight in at scrum time and although the extra grunt he provides is important, he should not get too caught up in scrummaging with the defence from the scrum even more important.
1) He must be able to tackle effectively preferably stop attackers behind the gain line.
2) He must be a strong aggressive tackler, create fear factor-close down the short side.
3) He must attack the ball except when holding from a scrum (on the blindside)
4) He must be strong and accurate in the defence of the blindside (look into scrum)
5) He must work in unison with other defenders at scrum and lineout e.g. 9,8,7 and blindside wing.
Set Piece
1) He must be an explosive jumper come lineout time.
2) He must be able to catch and control the ball in awkward positions as a jumper in lineouts.
3) He must be able to not only jump at lineouts but also lift and support other jumpers.
4) He must powerful in assisting the prop at scrums.
5) He must always look into the scrum to keep sight of the ball to time his release to either attack or support the ball.
6) He may be used as an extra lineout option
7) He must secure the midfield area at short kick-offs, receipts and restarts.

Games watched: Milnerton vs Melkbosstrand, Brackenfell vs Durbanville, Bellville vs Stellenberg, SACS vs Boland Landbou, Wynberg vs Paul Roos, Rondebosch vs Paarl Boishaai, Paarl Gim vs Bishops, Affies vs Helpmekaar, Dale vs Muir, Hudsonpark vs Nico Malan, Queen's vs Pearson, Grey HS vs Brandwag, Kingswood vs Selborne, St Andrew's vs Framesby, Graeme vs Marlow, Gonubie vs Mzzomhle, Chief Boklein vs Aplandale, Queen's vs Stirling, Grens vs Toise, Cambridge vs de Vos Malan, Dale vs Port Rex, Selborne vs Hudson Park, Menlopark vs Ben Vorster. Boishaai vs Monnas, Affies vs Diamantveld, Dale College vs Muir College, Grey College vs Welkom Gim, St Alban's vs Kroonstad AHS, EG Jansen vs Invitation XV, Garsfontein vs Kempton Park, Frikkie Meyer vs Stellenberg, Montana vs Die Anker, Waterkloof vs Outeniqua, Boland Landbou vs Middelburg HTS, Pretoria Boys High vs Paarl Gimnasium.

Next week we will include another 18 games of which we received footage of.