Countering the abs ruck tactics
December 06, 2012, 09:46:36
Ex Planet rugby
But this was a game where even the most battle hardened New Zealanders commended not only England's win, but the manner in which they achieved it. That in itself is unheard of praise.
"Richard Hill wrote in last week's Expert Witness about countering the NZ ruck tactics, and he was absolutely right", commented Richards.
"Efficiency at the breakdown is everything to New Zealand. It is their lifeblood, and if you can slow it down or dry it up, even they will start to struggle.
"England created havoc. Their forwards and some of the backs at times were hitting rucks as if their careers depended on it. England competed in the tight/loose better than any side against the All Blacks in at least a year", he explained.
"New Zealand were rocked; they started to commit more numbers into the areas, which opened holes for England to create pressure and score points.
"Where I would question the All Blacks, is, after a rousing start to the second half and they'd recovered to 15-14, they still tried to play an expansive game. England were in unfamiliar territory at that time, and perhaps NZ should have reined it in, played for field position and slowly righted the ship.
"Instead, which is uncharacteristic of them, they got it wrong. They made some poor decisions, and continued to throw it around (SHOW PONY STUFF - ONE TRICK PONY STUFF). Look at Kieran Read's speculative offload as an example, and he's an outstanding leader in that side. That approach cost them dearly. They played catch-up rugby and when they'd caught up, they continued to play it."
A lot of people had feared this was England's boys against New Zealand's men.
"The youngsters stepped up', observed Richards.
"Joe Launchberry really excited me. A young man of 21 prepared to back his aerial skills, his hands, to add grunt, and to put his body on the line. Tom Wood too, who played the most disruptive of games on the tackle line, and Ben Morgan, a guy who maybe isn't topping the fitness stats, but displays a real understanding of the game every time he plays.
"They made New Zealand fight for every scrap, and I think Dan Cole is fast becoming the best 7 in the home nations, let alone the best 3!
"This side will take a lot of learning from the series, and on other occasions, could have gotten better results against both South Africa and Australia. But they've also played three different styles: the Bok power, the Wallaby intelligence and cheek, and the total rugby of the All Blacks (TOTAL SHOW PONY STUFF - see above). They'll have learned a lot.
A wry Richie McCaw, full of praise and respect for England, commented on Saturday that whilst his team-mates will have time to recover and focus on other rugby, the loss had to stick in his own throat for the whole of his forthcoming sabbatical from rugby.
Richards is quick to acknowledge McCaw's contribution to the game.
"He is without doubt the best of the modern era," agreed Richards. (Take away the illegal stuff and he i sperhaps above average?)
"There has never been an openside like him. His decision making is utterly incredible. He never gets things wrong. (This is a hopless statement - who can believe twaddle like he never gets it wrong - Bwahahhahahaha what utter foolishness)
"Many talk about his skills and his nuisance value at the breakdown, but for me what stands out about his play is this absolute intuition and anticipation he possesses. He knows what's going to happen without having to even think. It's second nature to him and this is a quality only the true greats have. Absolutely uncanny." (Way way over the top by an idol worshipper. Reminds me of oaks praising wee matfield 107 kg - after a game when he had done zip - is mindless stuff)
Yes it is clear that th ab backs can be shut down and then they are clearly very beatable, "Efficiency at the breakdown is everything to New Zealand. It is their lifeblood, and if you can slow it down or dry it up, (even) they will start to struggle".