Sunday, October 06, 2013

It's all in the tactics (Part One)

No time for defence
Watching New Zealand win 38-27 at Ellis Park against South Africa yesterday afternoon was one of those heightened experiences that made you wonder whether television technology had advanced to such a degree that you were as breathless at the end as the athletes on display. It was a match that had everything, well nearly everything, all that was missing was a commitment to something that resembled defending.

It wasn't exactly attack v defence more a case of attack v attack. Combine that with injuries, the referee succumbing to cramp (and by the way how good and how fit was Nigel Owens) and a typo error resulting in some confusion over an All Blacks replacement mid way through the second half.

South Africa were very good, Jean De Villiers gave one of the great captain performances of recent times, but the All Blacks were better. Kieran Read seemed to be playing everywhere, Ben Smith showed some quick feet and quick hands and Beauden Barrett, a man whose name suggests he will surely establish a firm of solicitors when he retires, made up for tackling like a girl at one point to make a breakthrough run through the nominal Springboks defence to set up the final charge from the visitors.

With both teams soon to head north for the winter the watching home nations must have been enjoying the prospect of playing in some open games whilst not relishing the thought of watching two powerful packs and such free running backs advance in their direction in the Autumn internationals.

Friday at a clients also involved some tactics that could partly, if tenuously, be linked to Rugby Union.

1 comment:

Span Ows said...

Agree, I was left breathless and battered by the end! Unfortunately I wanted the Springboks to sneak it and was amazed at how well the AB seemed to "simply score another try" each time the green and gold scored!

Felt let down by the Pumas who could have beaten the Wallabies if only they hadn't panicked and acted like nervous kids (so many silly mistakes at key moments); I think they were so aware that if they played well they could win that they just turned to jelly.