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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Re: Trends

Postby LeRouxIsPHat » July 20th, 2019, 4:33 pm

LeRouxIsPHat wrote:
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.


Salakaia-Loto backing up this theory for me for Australia. 6'6" and incredibly quick and mobile, although he's been anonymous apart from showing his wheels for his disallowed try.

Du Toit at 6 for SA too, although I think he's closer to a traditional blindside.
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Re: Trends

Postby LeRouxIsPHat » July 20th, 2019, 4:40 pm

And just after I say that Du Toit chips ahead which sets up a try :lol:
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Re: Trends

Postby neiliog93 » July 22nd, 2019, 10:56 pm

Josh Murphy, Dowling, Izuchukwu, even Tadhg Beirne - we have a few interesting 6'5" to 6'7" blindsides coming through.
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Re: Trends

Postby hugonaut » July 23rd, 2019, 7:17 am

neiliog93 wrote:Josh Murphy, Dowling, Izuchukwu, even Tadhg Beirne - we have a few interesting 6'5" to 6'7" blindsides coming through.


Izuchukwu Sevens try: https://www.world.rugby/worldrugbytv/vi ... 70?lang=en

Very impressive looking athlete at 201cm and 108kg [source: https://www.irishrugby.ie/ireland_seven ... izuchukwu/ ]. I definitely see the validity of Sevens as a development program in this case: get the lad into a high performance environment as soon as possible. My understanding is that he played centre for Roscrea - is that right?
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Re: Trends

Postby mildlyinterested » July 23rd, 2019, 8:05 am

Izuchukwu scored another try at the weekend, 2h01m into this video: https://www.rugbyeurope.eu/2019-men7s-g ... -vs-poland

certainly a very good athlete for his size, interested to see if he can push for irish 20's and at what position.
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Re: Trends

Postby hugonaut » July 24th, 2019, 9:30 pm

mildlyinterested wrote:Izuchukwu scored another try at the weekend, 2h01m into this video: https://www.rugbyeurope.eu/2019-men7s-g ... -vs-poland

certainly a very good athlete for his size, interested to see if he can push for irish 20's and at what position.


Very reminiscent of a Tom Croft-type try, albeit in a Sevens context.

Wouldn't be particularly concerned about Ireland U20s, as good a marker as that generally is. If he's behind the pace because he changes position, it doesn't really matter as long as the position is correct.

Interesting discussion to have about what his position is in terms of senior rugby. It could well be that blindside is a good position for him, and he's given the opportunity to play fast and loose with a lot of midfield carries. At that sort of size, normally I would automatically think 'tape yer ears up for the row' ... but with his pace and athleticism and the amount of talent we have at lock around his age a] it mightn't be his best position and b] he might find himself lacking opportunities, and not progress to his potential.

I think we were all impressed by the freakish physical abilities of Vunipola, Skelton and Itoje when we played Saracens in the final, and while this lad isn't a like-for-like with any of them, that's a lot of pace for somebody of his extreme size. It's a different sort of exceptional, but it's exceptional none the less.
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Re: Trends

Postby leinsterforever » July 24th, 2019, 10:52 pm

Playing 7s could round out his skilset and even make playing wing a possibility. He could be like an Irish version of Radike Samo.
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Re: Trends

Postby Ruckedtobits » July 27th, 2019, 5:48 pm

Although not the only benchmark, the games in the Tri-Nations / Championship often give a good indication of what way the game will trend, if only because the teams are in the same Season in which the World Cup is being played.

Taking that as indicative, the initial trends seem to suggest the following:

~ Line-outs will be competed in almost every instance;
~ Scrummaging will be ultra competitive with teams attacking off first phase;
~ Defenses in mid-field are nullifying even the best disguised 'covered' passes;
~ Wingers are getting more opportunities from fast skip or lob passes;
~ Multi-phase attacks, using both sides, are showing a lot of changes in angles;
~ Little chips and grubber kicks have improved in concept & execution (R L).

Thus far, the contests are intense and there is little between any of the four teams. The Aussies started out as outsiders but Cheika has found a No 8 and hard-nosed front-five, as well as tough centres and smart wingers. Rassie's S. Africa look really disciplined in defence and aggressive in the Green Zone. Argentina look full of good ideas, but sloppy in execution in attack. NZ look like NZ, competent but hiding their true intent.

Each of these teams look certain candidates for the Q/F. Who will make up the other four?
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Re: Trends

Postby LeRouxIsPHat » July 28th, 2019, 1:14 pm

It seems to me that whenever lineouts are intensely competitive it's because the ref ignores the lack of a gap, certainly thought that was the case yesterday and was a big problem in that England and NZ game last November. I hope it'll be one of the things that refs will be asked to keep an eye on in Japan because it could really hurt us if it isn't. On opposition lineouts POM doesn't need to be in the gap to get in front of his man either (he does often jump across it but that's much harder to spot IMO) so that could be an advantage for us if it's enforced.
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