Who Are The Leading Left Wings (#11) In South Africa @ 1stXV Level?

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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 left wings (#11) we identified were:  1. Franco Knoetze (Grey College), 2. Suleiman Hartzenberg (Bishops), 3. Juraide Coeries (Outeniqua), 4. Pascal Ekeji (Grey College), 5. Keagan Smith (Paarl Boishaai).

 The following boys also caught our attention: Philasande Ncgobo (SACS), Geraldo Flusk (Garsfontein).

Please keep in mind that we could 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 left wing (#11) at 19:30 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.

Left-Wing (#11) - Playing out wide on the side of the pitch, the winger is a team’s finisher in the attack. A winger is also often the last line of defence when they don’t have the ball and as such, pace is their major resource.

Position-specific Requirements:

1) He must have the ability to beat an opponent 1 on 1.
2) He is the strike player.
3) Quick hands and pace are non-negotiable.
4) He must be a good communicator.
5) He must be able to beat the opponents' defence.
6) He must keep the ball alive.
7) he is vital in the back three defence and knows to use the touchline as a defender.
8) He must be a brilliant counter attacker.
9) He must be an excellent cross defender.
10) He must have genuine sprint pace and evasion skills to score tries.
11) He must be a second full-back that can field kicks.
12) He must be a threat to the blindside.
13) He must be able to read the opposition fly-half.
14) He must know when to close space and when to give space.
Dealing with kicks
1) He must be able to deal with the ball kicked at or behind him.
2) He must be confident when kicking and/or securing the high ball
3) He must always seek to counter-attack as part of the back 3
1) He must have the ability to beat opponents off either foot and stay up in the tackle when required.
2) He must support the fullback and others as part of the counter-attack and defence unit.
3) He must have the finishing ability. Run with determination and courage.
4) He must have an awareness of blindside options and entry from blindside as an attacking or decoy option.
5) He must be able to swerve and or sidestep.
1) He must always chase and pressure opposition whenever possible
2) He must be an accurate hard defender who works in tandem with others in the back three.
3) He must understand and execute tackle options e.g. Spot, Cover, Smother etc.
1) He must kick effectively especially with the stronger or outside foot. Become an option to relieve pressure.
2) He must be able to chip, grubber and retrieve the kicked ball.

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.