Trends

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Trends

Postby LeRouxIsPHat » June 22nd, 2019, 12:15 pm

This thread will probably die very quickly but just thought it might be interesting to note any trends that pop up to predict where the game is going.

So my random observations for now are...

There were only two drop goals in the Premiership this season, both scored by Freddie Burns.

I've noticed a huge increase in players turning their backs to a blitz defence and passing the ball to someone coming on a loop. It's a really clever way of not being swallowed up and taking the blitz out of it, but it usually means that the guy on the loop is going sideways on a long arc so if the blitz doesn't commit too early there's a great chance of nailing someone behind the gainline and the attacking team really risks being isolated.

The kicking game that England deployed against us and France hasn't taken off elsewhere. Will it reemerge for the World Cup? I suspect it will but don't think we'll see it in the Rugby Championship. I reckon some SH team will be caught on the hop in Japan.

Wingers in Super Rugby take on a lot of ball off first phase. It doesn't seem to matter what size they are, they truck it up in the way you'd usually expect from a 12 or a forward.

The NZ Super Rugby teams all have guys who are a hybrid of second rows and flankers. They don't just do the nuts and bolts, they're very active in attack with both their carrying and their handling e.g Douglas, Hemopo, Fifita, and Robinson. It might mean that "5.5" becomes the new version of a "6.5". It's partly why I think Ryan Baird will end up as a 6.
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Re: Trends

Postby cormac » June 22nd, 2019, 3:59 pm

LeRouxIsPHat wrote:This thread will probably die very quickly but just thought it might be interesting to note any trends that pop up to predict where the game is going.

So my random observations for now are...

There were only two drop goals in the Premiership this season, both scored by Freddie Burns.

I've noticed a huge increase in players turning their backs to a blitz defence and passing the ball to someone coming on a loop. It's a really clever way of not being swallowed up and taking the blitz out of it, but it usually means that the guy on the loop is going sideways on a long arc so if the blitz doesn't commit too early there's a great chance of nailing someone behind the gainline and the attacking team really risks being isolated.

The kicking game that England deployed against us and France hasn't taken off elsewhere. Will it reemerge for the World Cup? I suspect it will but don't think we'll see it in the Rugby Championship. I reckon some SH team will be caught on the hop in Japan.

Wingers in Super Rugby take on a lot of ball off first phase. It doesn't seem to matter what size they are, they truck it up in the way you'd usually expect from a 12 or a forward.

The NZ Super Rugby teams all have guys who are a hybrid of second rows and flankers. They don't just do the nuts and bolts, they're very active in attack with both their carrying and their handling e.g Douglas, Hemopo, Fifita, and Robinson. It might mean that "5.5" becomes the new version of a "6.5". It's partly why I think Ryan Baird will end up as a 6.


Leinster have only kicked one successful drop goal in the four seasons that Leo Cullen has been head coach. Ross Byrne with a match-winner in the last minute away to the Ospreys on April 8th, 2017.
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Re: Trends

Postby LeRouxIsPHat » June 22nd, 2019, 7:05 pm

Ha, that totally passed me by! I thought the death of the drop goal was just a New Zealand thing until recently.
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Re: Trends

Postby ronk » June 22nd, 2019, 7:59 pm

A RWC is the time for a surprise drop goal renaissance. Might not be this RWC though.

Playing locks at 6 seems to be a strengthening trend. If defences keep their trend of bringing up wingers hard we will see more kicking from outside 10.

Wingers as primary ball carriers makes sense. Blitz defences are making it harder to get good ball to wingers. Wingers probably have some spare contact capacity during long runs of phases. Attackers can sneak in for a few carries easier than defenders so it's one way to wear out a defence.

The Oz U20s have me thinking that there'll be a strong trend towards elite ball carriers.
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Re: Trends

Postby neiliog93 » June 23rd, 2019, 1:23 am

If they start officiating the offside line properly we'll get a much better spectacle at the RWC and teams full of overweight, powerful players with an organised, physical blitz defence will no longer be so dominant (England, Saracens). The annoying kicks in behind will also become less of a thing as they will no longer be necessary, as defences won't be offside any more (which forces the kick option).

I agree on the drop goal renaissance. England, France and South Africa amongst others used to brilliant at the odd cheeky drop goal. It's due a comeback.
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Re: Trends

Postby hugonaut » June 23rd, 2019, 8:08 am

LeRouxIsPHat wrote:This thread will probably die very quickly but just thought it might be interesting to note any trends that pop up to predict where the game is going.

So my random observations for now are...

There were only two drop goals in the Premiership this season, both scored by Freddie Burns.

I've noticed a huge increase in players turning their backs to a blitz defence and passing the ball to someone coming on a loop. It's a really clever way of not being swallowed up and taking the blitz out of it, but it usually means that the guy on the loop is going sideways on a long arc so if the blitz doesn't commit too early there's a great chance of nailing someone behind the gainline and the attacking team really risks being isolated.

The kicking game that England deployed against us and France hasn't taken off elsewhere. Will it reemerge for the World Cup? I suspect it will but don't think we'll see it in the Rugby Championship. I reckon some SH team will be caught on the hop in Japan.

Wingers in Super Rugby take on a lot of ball off first phase. It doesn't seem to matter what size they are, they truck it up in the way you'd usually expect from a 12 or a forward.

The NZ Super Rugby teams all have guys who are a hybrid of second rows and flankers. They don't just do the nuts and bolts, they're very active in attack with both their carrying and their handling e.g Douglas, Hemopo, Fifita, and Robinson. It might mean that "5.5" becomes the new version of a "6.5". It's partly why I think Ryan Baird will end up as a 6.


Great post.

Cheslin Kolbe gets on the ball a huge amount in traffic for Toulouse. If you see him up close, he's like Habana – built like a superhero – but he's still generally the smallest guy on the pitch. It's amazing how effective he can be when there are a lot of defenders around. I guess it's mostly that he has quicker reactions than his opponent and can put them off balance, then go the other way.

Really interesting point about the 5.5. Haven't seen enough Super Rugby this year to comment.
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Re: Trends

Postby LeRouxIsPHat » June 23rd, 2019, 11:12 am

Kolbe isn't the only one like that either. You've got Dyantyi, Larmour, McKenzie, Moyano, Darcy etc. Maybe it's not a trend for those type of players to appear, but a few years ago it looked like size would be king and that even wingers would need to be built like Andrew Trimble but it hasn't really happened.
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Re: Trends

Postby dropkick » June 24th, 2019, 12:59 pm

Been watching a bit of the crusaders. They're ripping teams apart with their attack. What they use often is a cross field kick pass. In fact they use a variety of kicks.
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Re: Trends

Postby Oldschool » June 25th, 2019, 9:30 am

The most worrying trend is number of games Ireland have been losing recently.
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Re: Trends

Postby dropkick » July 9th, 2019, 1:16 pm

https://www.alloutrugby.com/why-have-a-ball-jake/
Interesting article from Jake White about possession and how not having the ball can be an advantage in winning tournaments. Wales winning the 6N is a recent example.
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Re: Trends

Postby LeRouxIsPHat » July 11th, 2019, 12:27 pm

I think White is ignoring a couple of things there. One is that the Jaguares' defence did a brilliant job of reading what the Crusaders were going to do in midfield, and secondly the conditions made it harder for them to move the ball at the last second and they tightened up considerably. The Jaguares knew that and it meant that they could go for broke when they rushed up. If the ball hadn't been so slippy then I'd have backed the Crusaders to get more passes/offloads away, and would also have backed the Jaguares to take their chances. It was a major factor.

So unless we factor in global warming as a trend then I don't think he's right. Although it'll be interesting to see how Ireland approaches the World Cup. I'm guessing that we'll try to play the way we usually do but if we lose the physical battle as we did during the 6N then I would hope/expect that we have a much smarter solution than just continuing to try and work our way out of trouble or taking ages to set up high balls.
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