The New Boys: Luke Scully

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Initially I had thought that there wouldn’t be an edition of ‘The New Boys’ for Luke Scully as sourcing footage of him playing would be a difficult task.

The 2018/19 season was effectively a write off for the Neath-born fly-half after he moved from the Ospreys to Worcester Warriors, picking up a serious quad injury that ruled him out from December through to the end of the season.

That cost him the chance to earn experience playing for Hartpury’s team in the English Championship, as well as the possibility of earning Wales U20 caps in his first year of eligibility out of the U18 setup.

However, before Coronavirus struck Scully did turn out regularly for Worcester’s A team, the Cavaliers, in the English A League, with then Worcester and now Dragons coach Gordon Reid, the former Scotland fly-half, describing his performances as ‘outstanding’.

I was asked on Twitter in the last few weeks when we might see Scully playing for the first team at Cardiff Blues, and after digging out some clips of him playing for the Cavaliers, my answer would have to be ‘sooner than I originally thought’.

These clips of Scully from the game against Wasps’ A side are two great examples of a young player who plays heads up rugby and has a good feel for the game.

Holding his position behind the breakdown in the first clip and then opening up the switch to the blindside to set up a try is a superb piece of play, as is the reaction to spot the space in the Wasps defence and take advantage before offloading and setting up the line break.

Interestingly though, Scully wasn’t only selected at fly-half by the Worcester Cavaliers, playing a fair amount of rugby at inside centre where he was utilised as a true second playmaker.

The first clip is worth pointing out for the speed of Scully’s hands to bring the full-back into play and taking a defender out of the game, but it’s the third clip, again against Wasps, that I particularly want to highlight.

It’s only subtle but that initial body position of standing square on to the defender just holds his opposite man and the defender outside him, before he gets his head up and picks the right pass to put his winger clear on the outside.

The draw-and-pass should be one of the simplest skills in the game but we too often see it poorly executed at the highest level. That ability to pick a pass for Scully then leads to his first Worcester Cavaliers try.

The flat pass is perfectly weighted and timed to release his team-mate, the speed of hands again on show as the defence can’t react to what is going on outside them, before Scully gets on his bike and tracks the attack superbly to be on hand to finish the move.

The beauty of a lot of the clips above is that they wouldn’t look out of place in a Cardiff Blues attack. The similarity of the shape, the use of the pull-back pass and the pop passes in midfield, all regularly used by ourselves.

Of course Scully will also need to be a good goal kicker if he is to take over at fly-half at the Arms Park, but on the limited evidence available there are promising signs.

Although neither kick is particularly difficult in terms of angle, and there seems to be a decent wind behind him on both, the kicks came in the 71st and 80th minutes to win the game for Worcester Cavaliers against Northampton A.

Only 19 at the time, that’s a solid nerve for a young player, and fingers crossed is an insight into an accomplished goal kicker who will score plenty of points for Cardiff Blues.

Obviously not a huge amount of footage of Scully at this stage but the signs are very promising, and it was difficult not to be impressed by the way he spoke at the ‘Meet the New Players’ event last week.

Definitely one to keep an eye on.

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