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3094 Topic: The inside centre crash ball myth....
mozart

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The inside centre crash ball myth....
November 23, 2012, 15:29:53

Having disposed before of the Steyn kicks way more than other 10s myth.....it's time to look at the inside centre crash ball myth. The theory being  posited is that Jean is just a crash ball centre and kills our backline play. If that were true you would expect 13 to get the ball much less than 12.....on a percentage basis of course.

Well against Ireland the possession stats were 13/12  for Ireland....inside/outside. For the Boks it was 11/10.

 

Against Scotland the numbers were 9/8 versus 6/4 for the Boks. A slightly higher percentage than the Boks, but all explainable  by a single move.

 

What is far more noted is our centres got the ball half as much as the Scots. Is this Lambie's fault....has the Machiavellian Meyer just changed names and kept faith with the boot?

 

Well it's true the combination of Lambie/Pienaar kicked almost twice as much as the Scots 17 to 9. We did rely more on the boot.

But incredibly their loose forwards ran 36 times to our 18..... a stat that was totally counter intuitive. I thought initially the lower centre possession numbers would be offset by more forays by our loosies. That directed me to the possession stats as a whole and there we find another amazing number Scotland had  63% of the possession.

 

Statistically the Scots should have won this game, except for one damning number....the metres per carry. The Scots ran 116 times to our 60....but gained almost exactly the same yardage. At 3.67 per carry our "crash balling, unimaginative, robots" out gained the Scots at 1.92 per carry....almost two to one.

 

It turns out superior running effectiveness saved a test we should have lost....how's that for a surprise.


Beeno1

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Posts: 11103
RE: The inside centre crash ball myth....
November 23, 2012, 15:45:43

Dr Moz, it was such a game of two halves that lumping these stats together may lead to the wrong conclusions.

Also, if we are pinned in our 22 we would be more likely to kick etc. Can you build these things into the model?

The real question is when in an attacking position how often did we kick when we could have run etc. from wha ton ecan gathr ourproblem is our failure to convert whilstin the red zone.  What is going on in the red zone is the critical issue. Do the stats say anything about that?

One would have expected the Scots loosies to run more given their greater % of possession and one needs to compare apples with apples. Another thing when bashing away at your opponents line you are likely to make less meters as the defending is ferocious.

 

 


mozart

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Posts: 7902
RE: The inside centre crash ball myth....
November 23, 2012, 16:00:24

Sure Hasbeen one can interpret the numbers differently. We can say, for example, it was our superior defence that limited the Scots, rather than our running prowess that did the job. The data isn't rich enough to dig any deeper.

 

But I do think the crash ball thing is a nonsense. Our 13 gets the ball pretty much as often, percentage wise, as our opponents......when Jean is at 12.

 

It's a different story when Fransie was at 12. Loook at these inside/outside centre possession stats with Fransie at 12 this year:

17/8

19/8

11/8

18/13

13/2

13/8

 

And the morons want to go back to Fransie at 12 because supposedly Jean hogs the ball.  The powers of observation are non existent.


Saffex

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Posts: 8555
RE: The inside centre crash ball myth....
November 23, 2012, 19:03:19

Moz catch a bloody wake up, we were playing Scotland, I repeat Scotland

Jean has been crap all year and we had better not see him in the Bok jersey next year. Hopefully tomorrow is his last test


clevermike

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Posts: 12017
RE: The inside centre crash ball myth....
November 23, 2012, 19:14:41

Stat are really a quetionable technique to be used - because it does not give the circumstances under which balls were kicked.   In he latest two tests - the Springboks were often in their own 22 where kicking from there would vitually be obligatory.

However, what worried me more is the style of play of the flyhalfs.   If the flyhalf stands too deep in the pocket when he receives the ball - and then decide to pass the ball to the inside center - the latter has very little option but to crashball.   This is made worse by th fact that the opposition accepts the predictability of the play and the defenders in fact in the first instance mark the no 12 player more than they would have done otherwie. 

The above scenario was a given in the case of Morne Steyn  particularly - hence the fact that the inside centers (and that include Francois Steyn, Olivier and De Villiers) receive the ball comparatively late  behind the gain line - leaving them with virtually  no option other than crashballing.    Goosen in the games he played stood flatter, received the ball while he moved forward and made quicker passes to the 12 - giving them another option in dealing with the play.   Jantjies himself was standing as deep as or even deeper than Morne in the pocket and since in the main he runs a few steps sideways before passing the ball - the 12 was even in a worse position than it was the case with Steyn.   Be it as it may - virtyually all passes under such circumstances could be described as hospital passes.

In the last two tests Lambie played the samme way as Steyn and Jantjies did previously.   Whether this was stemming from instruction or not is not pertinent here.   When Lambie passed the ball to De Villiers  - who had very little scope to do anything with it - same as happened with the other centers this year..

The real problem with backline play is how the pivot performs - if he does not all kinds of problems creep into the game and crashballing is one of those.   In fact it has very little  to do with stats - it has everything to do with positional play - in particular the play of the flyhalf.


clevermike

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RE: The inside centre crash ball myth....
November 23, 2012, 19:15:20

Sorry - duplication


mozart

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Posts: 7902
RE: The inside centre crash ball myth....
November 23, 2012, 19:32:05

Well if Lambie has been the same as Morne....which seems to be the proximate cause of all the howling....inside centre play is comparable. And we know for a fact Jean moves the ball on to his outside centre.....way more than Fransie.

 

If you want to identify a Bok backline killer early, look no further than Fransie Steyn.


sasuke uchiha

Status: Rugby Legend
Posts: 5823
RE: The inside centre crash ball myth....
November 23, 2012, 21:12:26

"Well if Lambie has been the same as Morne"

thats a big if though mozart, lambie is a way more attacking minded flyhalf, but as meyer has stated he wants a better kicking flyhalf to direct the game, lambie is adjusting his natural style to give the coach what he wants. this going against the sand and meyers inability to nurture the natural skills of his players is going to harm lambie in the long run.

JDV is a crashballer, in modern day rugby the No12 requires a number of skills, but a player dosent need them all except for distribution, defence and the ability to crashball.
a No12 who can crashball and get over the advantage line a high number of times is more often then not going to get his team on the front foot.
its obvious the flyhalf is better used as first reciever and to direct the backline, while the outside center more often then not links the outsidebacks. this leaves the No12 to be more physical and more importantly a natural candidate to crash that ball up and continue the phases.

 

the games against scotland and ireland are too close and IMO very bland rugby orientated games to accurately put those stats into context, but IMO JDV is a crashballer and a very effective one at that, hes definately been a better 12 then KFrancoisC in 2012.


mozart

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Posts: 7902
RE: The inside centre crash ball myth....
November 23, 2012, 21:42:24

I'm not saying he doesn't crash ball....in fact I agree with pretty much your whole premise. But he can do the other parts as well. Jean has a long stride and that seems to help him ride the first tackle and get over the advantage line. To be honest, I'm not really sure what Fransie is supposed to provide at 12...if not the crash ball. He just doesn't do it very well.


clevermike

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Posts: 12017
RE: The inside centre crash ball myth....
November 24, 2012, 07:27:10

Mozart

I don't differ from you on the issue at all - what I am saying is that all inside centers this year was forced into excessive crashballing.   I do agree with you that Steyn was weak in that regard and that is the reason why I have serious question marks about him.   Some people thinks he is an automatic choice as no 12 - I don't.

I think he has a lot to prove in Super 15 next year - if he does play top rugby, he can qualify for selection.   If he does not - then to my mind he should not qualify.   Incidentally if a player do crashball - he must make sure that he either off-load the ball effectively in that scenario or that he ensure that the ball  is protected and comes out quickly for further attacking usage.   This is where I believe that Francois Steyn is particularly weak compared to De Villiers and even Olivier.   

My problem remains that I do not see Jean De Villiers as a real future option in any position - whether 12 ot  13.   His age count against him.   That is where I believe a younger player like De Allende shows some real potential.   If you look at the CC Final - not only the highlight package - you would note that De Allende crashballed a number of times - but in the process off-loaded the ball beautifully and effectively.  I hope that he gets ample playing time in Super 15 in that position - that may just be the player at 12 in future.      


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