The Edinburgh and Scotland fly-half offers his top tips on the skill

How to throw a miss pass – by Jaco van der Walt 

A miss pass can be a great option when you want to put width on the ball quickly. So how do you do it? Edinburgh and Scotland fly-half Jaco van der Walt explains how to throw a miss pass…

Pick the best option

“A miss pass is the best option to get the ball to the outside quickly because you have a large overlap. The pass isn’t always on; if the defence have come up, you run the risk of an intercept. I rely on the guys on the outside to tell me when the pass is on. I’ll see the options in my peripheral vision but I want that communication early.”

Communication is key

“Getting a call from your outside players will help you to make the pass. If I don’t get that call, I’ll take the ball into my chest so I can run at the defensive line. If I do get the call, I’ll keep the ball in my hands and away from my body and pass as soon as I receive the ball.

“If you run with the ball before passing, the defence can drift and shut down outside options. I want to finish the pass with my hands pointing towards the target. I’ll spin my miss pass to make it more accurate.”

Frequent practice

“Sometimes the pass won’t come off but you will get another go. If a pass doesn’t work, I just focus on my next job and don’t overthink the technique. Make sure you practise the skill frequently in training so that you can go and do it on a Saturday.”

Training drill

“During practice, I’ll have two defenders and two attackers outside me. When I receive the pass, I’m waiting for the outside attacker to tell me whether to throw the long miss pass or the short pop pass.

“You can also do this by replacing defenders with the posts if you’re short on numbers.”

This article originally appeared in Rugby World’s November 2021 edition.

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