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The evolution of the 'scissors move'

John GriffithsAugust 5, 2014
Israel Folau and Michael Hooper execute the 'scissors move' © Getty Images
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When did the "scissors" move become a part of rugby? P Hunt, Canada

It's difficult to pin down exactly when the term "scissors" for the well-known handling move that switches the direction of an attack became part of the rugby lexicon. But it was certainly in use before the Great War.

The Liverpool club side of 1914 was one their best on record and was cosmopolitan in make-up. The side included Ronnie Poulton (England's Grand Slam captain that year) and Dickie Lloyd, Ireland's captain, as centre and fly-half respectively. Up front the pack was led by Freddie Turner, who had captained Scotland the season before.

Writing about Poulton in 1915, shortly after the famous Englishman was killed in action by a sniper's bullet at Ploegsteert Wood in Belgium, Dickie Lloyd remembered:

"We had a great trick together which we used to call the 'Scissors': it brought in many tries. The trick was this: when I had the ball, and Ronald was running beside me just as if he was going to take an ordinary pass, he would suddenly change his direction and come racing straight across at me and practically take the ball out of my hands, and breaking clean through would run right across to the opposite wing.

"It was a favourite trick and nearly always brought a try, as I used to try and follow him up and take the pass if he could not beat the full-back."

John Griffiths is a widely respected rugby historian and is the author of several sports books, a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and co-author of the IRB International Rugby Yearbook. He has provided insight for Scrum.com since 1999.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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Writer Bio

John Griffiths is a widely respected rugby historian and is the author of several sports books, a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and co-author of the IRB International Rugby Yearbook. He has provided insight for Scrum.com since 1999.

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