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2971 Topic: Wallabies shirk collision and pay the price
hakwa

Status: Senior player
Posts: 2289
Wallabies shirk collision and pay the price
November 13, 2012, 11:38:02

 

Wallabies shirk collision and pay the price

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Wesley Fofana of France scores a try amongst the Wallabies rabble during the France vs Australia international rugby union match at the Stade de France stadium. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)

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Rugby is a simple game. It’s a collision sport, and so to win the game you have to win the contest at the collision point.

You can do this in two ways. You can win the collision itself through physical might and aggression. Or you can avoid the collision through sleight of hand and agility.

Winning the collision demands physical size, but also demands an appetite for the tough stuff. An aggressive little team will sometimes beat a passive big team. But an aggressive little team will never beat an equally aggressive big team. The laws of physics see to that.

To avoid the collision you need speed, confidence and highly developed skills. Because you are aiming to catch the opposition out, you need to have bodies in motion, combined with pinpoint passing, catching and running.

Like a symphony, several complex instruments need to combine perfectly for it to work. One wrong note will bring it crashing down.

A good rugby side can execute one of these strategies well. An excellent side, like the world champion All Blacks, can execute both of them well, at will, depending on the situation.

The Wallabies didn’t do either very well, which is why they lost to France on Sunday.

They persist in trying to win games of rugby without winning the collision itself, and also without creating any significant deception to help avoid it. As any rugby player will tell you, when this happens, you are simply hoping that the opposition will make a mistake and let you score.

If they don’t make many mistakes, as with the excellent and committed French side on Sunday, then the result is out of your hands. Rugby never rewards the placid or the imperfect.

Not all the Wallabies are placid or imperfect, but there is enough placidity and imperfection to bring about their downfall on a regular basis.

The scrum is a good example. The Wallaby scrum was fragmented and dishevelled by a committed French pack. They were shoved off their ball in the first several minutes and the destruction continued on and off for the entire match. Referee Nigel Owens has been criticised for his interpretation of several of the shambolic scrums, but to blame Owens is to miss the point.

Had the Wallaby pack been more aggressive and more technically adept, Owens would not have been part of the equation. The placid and imperfect Wallaby pack invited him to take part in the match – a part he would otherwise have not had to play, or been allowed to play, had they done their job more perfectly and with greater vigour.

Criticism has also been levelled at Pat McCabe and Kurtley Beale. McCabe is written off as being one-dimensional, and Beale as lacking the necessary acumen to marshall his backline and set them away. Both criticisms are incorrect.

Take McCabe. “All he does is crash-ball,” goes the chorus. In fact, this is exactly what he is supposed to do.

The point of the crash ball is to not to get a line-break. Sometimes that happens, but when it does it is a bonus. More often it is intended to create a line-bend, a point from which the team can attack on the front foot.

This demands that the nominated two or three forwards flood the contact point and create quick ball. If they don’t do their job, then the ball dies, and there is no platform to attack from.

It looks like the carrier is lacking imagination and dying with the ball. Actually he has played his part perfectly, but been let down by his teammates who haven’t helped him win the collision.

If we take the above scenario one step further, we see Kurtley Beale suffers the same fate. When McCabe is left posted, then Beale has to deal with the consequence.

First he has to check his forward momentum to give himself some space, because his forwards haven’t created space for him. He then has to work with less time, because the defence is on the front foot and is rushing up to cut down his time and space.

If his halfback is indecisive, or creates no diversion, then the pressure mounts on Beale even more.

To say that Beale isn’t able to set his backs away is at best simplistic, and at worst, completely misguided. If he was wasting plenty of front foot ball, then it would be a valid criticism, but Beale can only avoid his collisions if others win their collisions in the lead-up.

By looking at the simple concept of winning or avoiding collisions, we can begin to see where the current Wallabies are exposed by the brutal nature of Test football.

Up front, the scrum lacks the ruthless dedication to perfection and aggression in the collision that characterises the good sides. Physicality and technical excellence are inversely proportional – you better be either overwhelmingly physical or the most perfect technicians alive.

Both is better. A bit of each is just not enough.

No Test team today will allow you to work your way into the scrum during a match. The first one needs to be an explosion of overwhelming aggression or complete technical perfection.

None of the forwards were great, but Dave Dennis is a perfect example of why the Wallabies struggle. Dennis’ ball carrying was imperfect and his collision work was soft.

Particularly though, those who blame Kurtley Beale for the Fofana try set up by Michalak, should look again at Beale’s chase, and the man slagging up on his inside, Dennis. Beale, to his credit, chased hard and pressured Michalak. That was obvious from the steps Michalak took to avoid him.

And where did Michalak go? To the inside, because that’s where the hole was, courtesy of Dave Dennis being too slow fill it. Game over, and not Beale’s fault. Had Dennis worked harder on the kick chase, the try may not have happened.

Nick Phipps too failed to create any deception which may have helped his side avoid or win the collision.

A halfback helps his flyhalf by mixing his options and testing the defence to keep them honest. Will Genia would have had a field day slipping in behind the rushing French defence, whereas the best Phipps could do was keep shovelling it out to Beale as the French tacklers loomed fast and hard.

Instinctively we know that Dennis and Phipps had bad games, but when we look at the simple ingredients of winning the collision, or creating opportunities to avoid it, we can immediately see they did neither.

It may be unfair to isolate Dennis and Phipps, when their fellows were often as bad. Aside from Michael Hooper and Nick Cummins, the majority of Wallabies shirked the winning of the collisions they faced, particularly in defence close to the ruck.

The main question is, how much of this ability to win or avoid collisions should Robbie Deans be responsible for?

Well, he certainly should be responsible for the skills necessary to avoid the collisions, and on the rare occasions these skills are shown, they don’t appear to be fine-tuned enough.

He should also be responsible for selecting those with the desire and the physicality to win the collisions up front, and few would doubt this is a difficult job, with the depth at hand.

He can’t teach the desire to win collisions, and if there aren’t sufficient self-motivated collision-winners to choose from, then things get tough.

Rugby is a simple game. To win the match, you have to win, or avoid, the contest at the collision.

France won the collision comprehensively against the Wallabies and it will be no easier for the Australians against England.

As the Wallabies are about learn all over again, rugby never rewards the placid or the imperfect.


Beeno1

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 10911
RE: Wallabies shirk collision and pay the price
November 13, 2012, 11:54:13
"You can do this in two ways. You can win the collision itself through physical might and aggression. Or you can avoid the collision through sleight of hand and agility.

Winning the collision demands physical size, but also demands an appetite for the tough stuff. An aggressive little team will sometimes beat a passive big team. But an aggressive little team will never beat an equally aggressive big team. The laws of physics see to that"

At last I understand ou munchers problem - its the laws of physics!!! Thanks hakwa for the article and the enlightenment it brought to me!!

Small players can be adept at avoiding collisions but cant do it all the time. The facts are you need size and skill to match the best in the world. Very simple really.

With al lthe tennis on I have still to watch the French/OZ game. I am wondering who was in the front row for the wobblies as I had thought their scrum had improved this year. Higginbottom is a forward they would have missed and if Moore didnt play he would also have been missed. Looking forward to watching the game. It is a huge pity the abs did not play France as it appears Les Bleus would clobber them - I mean the abs drew against Oz last time round an dwere lucky to do so.


hakwa

Status: Senior player
Posts: 2289
RE: Wallabies shirk collision and pay the price
November 14, 2012, 09:38:24

 this was by far the best analysis of the game on the Roar!

His analysis of Pat McCabe and Nick Phipps I thought was spot on! Also like his usage of the terms "Line-bend" and "Line-break" and the thinking behind using either or both! Interchanging Beale and McCabe to achieve a line-break/bend was a lesson in futility as the French easily picked them off.

 


sasuke uchiha

Status: Rugby Legend
Posts: 5812
RE: Wallabies shirk collision and pay the price
November 15, 2012, 03:39:55

one of the ssilliest thing i often hear is opinions of who should win a game because of a game they played with another team. each to their own, but it makes no sense to me what so ever and i find it plain dumb, so ben10s comment about the french would have clobbered the ABs is more tounge and cheek.

i mean if that was the case, then any team who has lost to scotland and ireland should technically never beat the All Blacks, after all unlike our the Springboks or wallabies they know all to well what its like to lose to scotland and ireland, lolz.

the one thing that the All Blacks can do to the Boks and wallabies that no other team in the world can do, is give them the drive and will power to win, for the All Blacks are the most powerful team in the world and both our SANZAR bros know that anything less then 100% will cost them a game and anything less then 75% is suicide, take a look at the soweto and eden park IRC test matches.
there was also 2009 where the Boks beat the All Blacks 3-0 only for them to go to the EOYT and lose to saracens, leicester, italy and france, o_O,,,i mean really, two not one NH club teams??? o_O

 

end of the day any team can win on the day, but the dynamics in every game are like fingerprints, there is never any two that are the same.
 


sasuke uchiha

Status: Rugby Legend
Posts: 5812
RE: Wallabies shirk collision and pay the price
November 15, 2012, 03:46:44

the reality is the wallabies have been punching above their wegiht in 2012 big time and im surprised they were able to finish 2nd in the IRC with all their injuries, the reality is they should have finsihed 3rd and have the puma pushing them hard for the wooden spoon.

i was still surprised by the wallabies loss though and even more surprised by the margin. it was very similar to the loftus test, the wallabies simply had no heart in their game, they seemed to be mentally and physically exhausted and drained, almost as if they put their all into the bledisloe test at brizzy and saved nothing for the EOYT.

 

hope they can turn it around against england which is going to be a tough ask, but sharpie deserves to go out on a high. at least sharpies last test against on home soil was against their biggest rivals the All Blacks and they didnt lose it which is the next best thing to winning it.
 


sasuke uchiha

Status: Rugby Legend
Posts: 5812
RE: Wallabies shirk collision and pay the price
November 15, 2012, 03:46:47

the reality is the wallabies have been punching above their wegiht in 2012 big time and im surprised they were able to finish 2nd in the IRC with all their injuries, the reality is they should have finsihed 3rd and have the puma pushing them hard for the wooden spoon.

i was still surprised by the wallabies loss though and even more surprised by the margin. it was very similar to the loftus test, the wallabies simply had no heart in their game, they seemed to be mentally and physically exhausted and drained, almost as if they put their all into the bledisloe test at brizzy and saved nothing for the EOYT.

 

hope they can turn it around against england which is going to be a tough ask, but sharpie deserves to go out on a high. at least sharpies last test against on home soil was against their biggest rivals the All Blacks and they didnt lose it which is the next best thing to winning it.
 


hakwa

Status: Senior player
Posts: 2289
RE: Wallabies shirk collision and pay the price
November 15, 2012, 09:05:36

 against the ABs in Brisbane, with the home crowd behind them, the Wobblies played such negative rugby that even when there was opportunity to win the match by a drop goal, they relied on the ref to give them a penalty - such was their negative mentality - not surprised at all that the French blew them off the park with their positive rugby.

Sasu, what is happening on allblacks.com? - that site is going down the drain - Unlike this wonderful site, thank you Moderator and site owner.


sasuke uchiha

Status: Rugby Legend
Posts: 5812
RE: Wallabies shirk collision and pay the price
November 15, 2012, 21:38:14

@hakwa,

lol, the way i see it is the wallabies in the last three years have played the All Blacks 10 times and won 2 and drawn 1, whatever they can do to not lose must be expected.
for me a telling point was the All Blacks inability to adapt to jouberts small adavantage time given to the teams, this was annoying to me cos the All Blacks 99 times out of 100 adapt to it quickly and use it to their advantage, something i feel they failed to do.

ur right about the wallabies tactics, but in a way they achieved their goal and the All Blacks didnt, cos the wallabies were playing not to lose while the All Blacks were playing for the win.
if its any concilation bro, they are paying for it now though on the EOYT.

as for abs.com, wardaddy was saying that the comments sections will be restored soon, and ur right it has been annoying as fudge over there, the section where everyones blogging at the moment is a real pain in the ass, i often have to chop my posts up into sections just so it can fit, lolz, :o/


Shezza

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1038
RE: Wallabies shirk collision and pay the price
November 15, 2012, 22:21:07

 Italy have never beaten the Boks Sasuke.


Shezza

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1038
RE: Wallabies shirk collision and pay the price
November 15, 2012, 22:21:47

Duplicate


sasuke uchiha

Status: Rugby Legend
Posts: 5812
RE: Wallabies shirk collision and pay the price
November 15, 2012, 22:27:40

@ shezza,

errrrrrr, i never said that they did? o_O


Shezza

Status: Bok regular
Posts: 1038
RE: Wallabies shirk collision and pay the price
November 16, 2012, 00:14:00

Look at the fourth of your comments above mine, you said that Lienster, Saracens, Italy and France beat the Boks in the 2009 EOYT


sasuke uchiha

Status: Rugby Legend
Posts: 5812
RE: Wallabies shirk collision and pay the price
November 16, 2012, 03:39:40

@shezza,

o_O jeebers, i was wrong on both counts,at that rate i would surpass ben10s inaccurate myth counts, LMAO, :oP
funny thing is i missed it the second time round when u first mentioned it, o_O

i stand corrected, it should have said ireland not italy, i will blame sleep deprevation and my continued shock and awe at those horrendous 2009 results (espcially the club losses) for my lack of fact checking, cheers for the heads up, :o)


clevermike

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 11916
RE: Wallabies shirk collision and pay the price
November 16, 2012, 07:00:52
Sasue

The above article is probably the best analysis of a rugby match I have ever seen. Espewcially the reference to a philharmonic orchestra is a classic - I am a great lover of classical music - so that maybe influenced my assessment a bit. However, he is correct with the issue of a false note - and that is what I thought happened in the case of the Wallabies.

As I saw the match - there were quite a number of false notes in the performance of the Wallabies and that makes me wonder about what is really wrong with their team - they seem to play up-and-down rugby - good in some games and extremely bad in others. No consistency at all. I think that the real problemis there tight 5 not fiving them good enough balls - and in some wats also their defensive game.

I personally think the noise generated would be aimed at Deans and hope he is allowed to stay on as coach. I believe he has been hampered by two many injury problems - and being forced to play players out of position. Whatever they say - I believe Beale is a better player at full back than at fyhalf. If Deans ever get fired - I would love to see him come to SA as backline coach and technical advisor - he is class as was proved when he was with the Crusaders.

Another thing from the article also applies to the issue of the present debate on this site relating to De Jongh. Small players need guile to outfox bigger ones - there I fully agree with the report . I said much the same thing in the past - but not as well as it has been put in the report. Wish we could have the writer in SA and not the one-eyed buggers like Rich with their own agendae as to prootion of the interests of some of their favoured players.

As to the game tomorrow - everybody seems to write off the Wallabies completely - but I am not so sure about that one. The French can be brilliant one game and anything but the next one. The Wallabies was hit by a storm on the "brilliant day" syndrome case and I think every team - even the All Blakcs - would have had problems against them when they played like they did. I think the match tomorow is going to be much more even than people imagine. Hope the Wallabies beat the bloody haughty POMS - cannot stand them as a rule.

Hakwa

I think there is a problem on AllBlacks.com - too much praise-singing and too little controversy. That makes any Board dull. On this site controversy reigns supreme and the contributors go hammer and tongs for Meyer and the Springboks whether justified or not. They also make controveversial statements on the All Blacks - something that never really happens on the site quoted by you - if anybody dares to do so, he is in trouble - so most conribuitors do not say anything really controversial.

I really like tthe contributions made by Sasue and you - and Brycy and poi-e are real gems. The latter two are very quiet at present - but the storm will break out with the Super 15 next year - I am sure. Please stay on and help the single-minded on this site to gain a broader perspective.

.


allblacknblue

Status: Baby Bok
Posts: 233
RE: Wallabies shirk collision and pay the price
November 16, 2012, 07:44:30

Typical filthy mongrel crook Australian attitude is to blame, they want to steal the ball, not work for it.


clevermike

Status: Hall Of Fame
Posts: 11916
RE: Wallabies shirk collision and pay the price
November 16, 2012, 08:36:37
AllBlack&blue

Come no - come now, five the Aussies a break. We all know many Aussies have a mixed bag of ancestors not from top-notch society - but that is not a reason for getting at their rugby team. They had a bad day at the office and since it is Friday - I am especially generous - hopefully on Sunday they would do us all a fvour and beat the despicable POMS Then all sins will be forgiven.


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