The Fourth Set Piece?from scrum magazine December 2012 Issue 49

Analysing the first weekend of the Autumn Test Series games, it was good to see Scotland using the maul as an attacking option once again.

In my opinion it is an area of the game that in many ways has been forgotten about, with the much talked about third set piece or “breakdown area” becoming the main focus of coaches and players. With the pack that Scotland can potentially put out, this may become a potent weapon in the attacking armoury going into the 6 Nations Championship in 2013.

I have always believed the development of the game goes through stages, but the key is the understanding of all areas that make up the game. The next stage within the process of the ever-evolving and developing player, unit and team, is that of player, unit and collective team’s understanding of key game related principles. This sits alongside individual strength/conditioning and skill development programmes. Specific game understanding is, in many ways, the key component that is missing within our game at the moment.

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