Coach’s Corner Issue 13: A Trans-Tasman kick in the pants?


Welcome to Challenge 13 of Coach’s Nook!

Exit technique: what’s ‘finest follow’, who did it effectively over the weekend, and who has to have a change?
– Exile in Oz

Exiting was a significant challenge for the AU groups.
– Olly

How do the Reds typically go about exiting? Why do they wrestle on this space? How ought to they give the impression of being to enhance their exits?
– Numpty

There are two main points to those questions. First, the effectiveness of the kicking video games and exit methods of the Tremendous Rugby AU sides and; secondly, the effectiveness of their Tremendous Rugby Aotearoa opponents on the kick return counter.

It shortly turned apparent that the connection between the 2 could be very completely different within the Trans-Tasman competitors than it was in Tremendous Rugby AU! Check out the next desk.

Groups Av.PG
Time of
Reds 101 134 73 24 15:08
Brumbies 102 137 75 22 15:37
Drive 115 157 95 24 17:01
Rebels 108 145 82 23 15:10
Waratahs 119 154 90 20 15:31

The workforce that’s most depending on its kicking/exit technique additionally occurs to be the membership that gained the match – the Queensland Reds. The Reds kicked the ball extra, constructed fewer rucks, and handed and ran lower than the opposite 4 groups. They spent the least period of time with the ball of their palms.

The groups that carried out most creditably, and conceded the fewest variety of factors towards their New Zealand opponents in spherical one of many Trans-Tasman have been the Drive and the Brumbies. In addition they occur to be two sides with the very best time of possession in Tremendous Rugby AU. The flexibility to regulate the ball for longer durations helps restrict the variety of scoring alternatives for New Zealand groups.

As I noticed in Wednesday’s article, solely two of the Reds’ ten makes an attempt to exit from their very own final third area have been profitable. They gave up 4 tries, 5 clear breaks and 26 factors from kick returns, both straight or not directly.

Their quantity 9’s should not top-drawer field kickers, so the Reds typically want to return to their quantity 10 and clear with excessive contestable exits. Here’s a typical consequence in the direction of the top of the sport towards the Highlanders.

The Reds might have appreciated the seven-inch benefit in top between diminutive Jona Nareki and Suliasi Vunivalu out on the correct – Vunivalu did, in spite of everything, convert two spectacular tries from cross-kicks within the second half.

Right here, they’re kicking from deep – very deep – off 10, and Vunivalu runs straight previous the purpose of receipt on chase. Nareki makes certain he will get the ball away within the first deal with, and all of a sudden the Highlanders are again in enterprise deep within the Reds’ 22. Two performs later, the end result was inevitable.

New Zealand groups are one of the best on this planet at operating the ball again from kicks. They follow them as a lot as they prepare for set-piece assault, and the unstructured nature of the state of affairs fits their high-level dealing with abilities. Shorter exits might be asking for bother.

One ruck, three passes and 20 seconds is all it takes the Crusaders to return the kick for a rating.

A extra complicated and revealing instance occurred a lot earlier within the match between the Tremendous Rugby Aotearoa champions and the Brumbies:

After Manasa Mataele initially brings the ball again into midfield off the exit, the Crusaders do the whole lot of their energy to keep away from stopping factors (rucks), and protect attacking momentum with passes and offloads. There are 12 passes made – 5 of them by forwards – however solely two rucks constructed in the midst of the sequence.

Over the course of the 2 Crusaders kick returns taken collectively, the ratio of passes to rucks is five-to-one, and therein lies the key of Kiwi success on this space. They’ll maintain the ball alive for much longer with out having to take refuge in a breakdown, and meaning the defence has no likelihood to regroup.

(Picture by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Photos)

Tom Banks’ attempt on the weekend was most likely the one finest piece of brilliance I’ve seen from him so far. How can he and his workforce get him to have extra involvements like this the place his tempo can actually be used to full impact?
– Numpty

There’s at present isn’t any different 15 anyplace close to Banks in Australia.
– Patto

As an enormous fan of Banks, he wants to enhance on his kick returns. He tends to hesitate and stutter-step quite a bit coming as much as the defensive position earlier than committing, I don’t know whether or not out of concern or lack of imaginative and prescient.

I personally consider his hesitation on kick return is to provide his workforce extra of an opportunity to get again and assist out.

The query about Tom Banks frames the question about kick returns in a wider image.

Right here is his terrific particular person attempt towards the Crusaders got here from a midfield scrum, on first part.

Australian kick returns traditionally are typically extra conservative than they’re in New Zealand. One of many absolute best was Chris Latham within the first decade of the brand new millennium. On this lengthy profession spotlight choice, solely three of the tries derive from kick returns, and they’re all particular person moderately than collective efforts.

Tom Banks tends to make use of one among Latham’s favorite patterns on kick returns: even when he begins by operating in in the direction of midfield, he’ll end by working again to the unique touchline.

Tom Banks is a near-side kick returner, which implies that the alternatives for wide-to-wide assault will probably be barely extra restricted than they’re for Kiwi groups.

Within the first instance, each Banks because the ball-carrier, and wingman Tom Wright as cleanout assist, are consumed within the ruck; within the second it’s Banks and proper wing Solomone Kata; within the third, Wright takes the ball in with Banks remaindered on the short-side of the ruck.

The place New Zealand sides have a tendency to make use of kick returns as a option to keep a excessive tempo, maintain width on assault and keep out of construction, the Brumbies are likely to get again to their patterns pretty shortly.

After Banks’ preliminary near-side return, there are two extra ahead phases into midfield earlier than the Brumbies run one other of their favorite set performs, an in-pass from Noah Lolesio to a regenerated Banks.

That play was additionally a Chris Latham favorite!

Tom Banks chases the ball

(Picture by Tracey Nearmy/Getty Photos)

When the Waratahs go 0-13 for the season, does Dave Rennie have a justifiable purpose to select any within the Wallabies?
– Antony Henrie.

A workforce’s efficiency doesn’t essentially mirror the efficiency of a person. Now discover a completely different tune
– Numpty.

To start with, there may be nonetheless a (slim) likelihood the Waratahs might win a recreation earlier than the Trans-Tasman competitors ends.

Secondly, the issues the New South Wales outfit have had as a workforce won’t have an effect on the number of people who’ve apparent advantage as Wallabies.

Presence in an under-performing aspect primarily impacts the perimeter, or 50-50 picks. A global coach like Dave Rennie will probably be extra prone to be swayed by a participant who has discovered profitable habits in a profitable tradition, and who’s taking part in with confidence due to it.

Extra concretely, I’d not assume too many Wallaby supporters would argue strongly towards the number of Jake Gordon at quantity 9, Angus Bell at prop and Lachie Swinton within the again row in Dave Rennie’s wider squad for the July collection towards France.

Fringe picks like Jack Maddocks, Izaia Perese and Dave Porecki are nonetheless more likely to search out themselves the victims of the Waratahs lack of success.

As soon as once more, many because of all those that answered the call-out, or responded by creating the dialogue additional!


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