Classic Sidestep

The classic sidestep is how experts used to fool their opponents. Much more effective than current models. This is what you need now.

The classic

Best sidestep - I call it a classic

This sidestep is a good one.

Watch Phil Bennett to see just how powerful they are.

Then follow details of the deception involved

  • how you set one up
  • the action - how you do it

Rugby sidesteps were most well developed and widely used at a time when much less rugby was captured on film/video.

During the 1960's, 70's and 80's sidesteps (steps, stepping) were used more widely, particularly by Welsh players.

Some were masters of the art.

I'm using the term "Classic sidestep" to mean the type of sidestep I associate with players of that era. There are, of course, some modern players who do the same - but not many!

This is one of the best rugby clips around, showing one of the great tries. Many judge it to be the Greatest Try Ever in the history of the game.

As a player there is nothing more exhilarating. Imagine you are Phil Bennett (just like the rest of us!)

As a spectator there`s nothing more exciting. Listen to the crowd and Cliff Morgan the commentator ("Brilliant. Oh, that's brilliant!").

Cliff is a Legend. He knows what he`s talking about!

Classic side step by Phil Bennett in Barbarians v All Blacks 1973

You beat players with a sidestep by convincing them one thing will happen, then doing something different.

There has to be no shadow of a doubt in their minds - they must be absolutely convinced they will intercept and tackle you.

Then arrange to be somewhere else!

The classic sidestep is ideal for this.

Classic setup

It's useful in all sorts of situations.

You and the tackler can be approaching each other at almost any angle and a classic would be effective.

Classic sidestep setup Classic sidestep setup

You're the ball carrier.

Your opponent is "tackler".

You've spied out the land.

You've noticed a weakness in the defence around "tackler". You're in their 22. Make a break and you'll probably get a try.

Maybe the player is up out of the defensive line.

Maybe the gap between tackler and the next defender to your left is just that bit bigger and you believe you can get through it.

You run a line that will take you past them on the right. If they don't tackle - that's just what you'll do, go past them.

The tackler is reading the situation and running to a point where they will tackle you taking into account

  • your speed and direction
  • your glances, waves, calls

  • your apparent focus
  • weight distribution (the way you're leaning!)

Lay it on with a trowel - that means it's impossible to overdo it!.

Let them know you're convinced you're going past.

Classic Action!

It's all set up

You've told them you're running past and they know where.

They can think of only one thing - how they are going to put you on the floor!

You've been keeping an eye on things, now it's time for one last look.

It's your choice...

  • they won't get there in time - so you just run past!
  • the situation has changed, cutting inside is no longer possible - so pass or take the tackle

  • the gap still looks good for the cut inside - do it!

Classic Sidestep action Classic Sidestep action

The tackler is already convinced your next strides will take you to the location of the expected tackle.

They're focused on getting there.

You have a split second to change course and avoid them

You`ve done it so many times before, you could do it in your sleep.

BAM! cut inside, going left.

It's too late for them, it's all over.

You're past them and into the next situation.

What's this BAM?

Well, that takes a lot of explaining

Fairly simple and straight forward - but takes a lot of explaining and a huge amount of practice - or playing about, as I like to call it :)

Put simply you shift your weight to the left.

You do that by taking a short step or missing a step completely.

This unbalances you and you turn swiftly and without warning.

It took me a long time to work it out.

Good news

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STEP-BY-STEP instructions go to learn EvtecHs