Think Welsh rugby, think sidesteps, evasion, footwork, steps, trickery, wizardry, something from nothing, jinks and jinkers.
Of course many countries have players who sidestep - but it`s always the same country with most and best.
I base this on sidesteps captured on camera in high level games. Over the last several decades Welsh rugby is miles in front.
It`s a proud tradition - part of Welsh culture.
Read player autobiographies of sidestepping players and you'll see many references to playing
all good reasons to change direction quickly and avoid being tackled!
Contrast this with the wide open spaces of New Zealand, South Africa and Australia with plenty of room for full size rugby fields and - we might have the answer!
The need to be tricky and elusive in Wales would have been helped by role models who had gone through the process themselves and found being evasive is a fantastic skill to have, even on bigger pitches.
Gareth Edwards tells of his early rugby playing days on a narrow strip of land, "Cae Archie".
The "Cae" (Welsh for field) belonged to the local farmer, Archie - hence "Cae Archie". Gareth tells how Cae Archie
was just a narrow strip, about twenty yards wide... .Somehow all the boys from the village fitted into it....carefully laid sawdust touchlines and try-lines. Very professional.
GARETH An autobiography, Gareth Edwards (ISBN 0 09 134800 5)
Read it, you`ll love it! I bought an autographed copy second-hand, just a few quid extra,
And this was before he was even six years old!
There must be hundreds, thousands even, of fantastic sidesteps that were never recorded. Probably just as many were recorded, but partially hidden by other players or not fully appreciated because of camera position and so on.
Some of these Welsh rugby sidesteps can be seen as clips on other sites, some only on rugby DVD or rugby video tapes. Even if the clip is available free on other sites it is well worth the small price of owning your own copy.
When you have your own copy you can view easily, usually with much better clarity and size. You can also inspect incidents in slow motion and see exactly how it happens!
Clips - you peer at them, good for finding out what to buy.
Your own DVD/tape - you live it!
One of the earliest recorded sidesteps I have seen is that of Welsh rugby player Ken Jones in the game against New Zealand in 1953.
Ken Jones played for Newport, Wales and the British Lions. He was also an Olympic sprinter.
Wales attacking towards the camera move the ball to the left wing from where it is kicked across field towards the right wing. Ken Jones collects the ball after one high bounce, sidesteps the number two covering across field and scores close to the posts.
Because of the unusual camera angle, you can see exactly what Ken Jones does when he sidesteps his opponent - nice finishing!
Look for this on 101 Great Welsh Tries. The indicator on my DVD player says 1.2.8.08.
How to sidestep at pace and finish with guts and determination.
Gareth Edwards sidestep in the 1969 Wales rugby against France.
How to counter attack with a sidestep and create "something from nothing"
Phil Bennett sidestep in the 1973 Wales rugby against Ireland.
How you counter attack and back up - fantastic sidesteps. Gerald and Phil
- some of the best!
Davies and Bennett in the 1977 Wales rugby against Scotland.
How to jink your way to a try. Jink. Works well? - try it again, and again and again
Ieuan Evans in the 1988 Wales rugby against Scotland.
How to get around the field and the opposition at lightning speed
Recent Wales rugby.