We've been a way for a few weeks, providing Wallabies analysis for the excellent Green and Gold Rugby, but what better way to come back than to look at a superb try from the last round of European Rugby, specifically Ben Ransom’s superb team effort.
Rugby at its best is a simple game, and when played properly a well timed pass or a good line hit at pace from deep is impossible to defend. Throughout the years the best games of rugby have often revolved around simple sequences of play performed at pace and under immense pressure. Lots of teams over complicate things, especially strike moves, but one thing I really like about Saracens is their ability to play simple but effective rugby at a high tempo. They just get over the gain line, hold their depth and width and then come onto the ball at pace when the time is right – and that makes it hard to defend.
On Saturday they scored an absolute peach of a try from counter attack ball. Yes it was against an admittedly depleted Sale side but you can only play what is in front of you and they did that perfectly.
Something that is quite interesting in the move is the fact it features 3 of England’s forgotten men, in Owen Farrell, Chris Ashton and the man of the move Billy Vunipola. Farrell and Vunipola have been out of form for England, Ashton is just surplus to requirements, but they all stepped up and in a very stodgy and static game helped deliver one of the tries of the round straight off the training ground.
Some key points to observe here, the first is Farrells flat pass to Kruis, it brings him onto the ball and coupled with Kruis’s inside shoulder run sit the Sale defenders down. Next is the deft ball skills of Kruis as he performs a perfect circle ball to Duncan Taylor on the loop. From there it’s the timing of Vunipola’s run that splits the defence, he doesn’t go miles but he gets in behind the defensive line and Sale are chasing the move from there on.
It has all the essential ingredients for a backs move, players performing under pressure, holding their depth, hitting space and bets of all exploiting 2 vs 1’s through out the move. More impressive is two of the key players are forwards executing what are traditionally backs skills. It’s a perfect example of the modern rugby players need to have an all court game and from the moment Ashton gets the ball Saracens make nothing but what i think are correct decisions even when faced with multiple choice answers to a problem.
I would go as far as to say it’s one of my favourite tries of the season so far.
Author: The Dead Ball Area
Graeme Forbes has run The Dead Ball Area since 2014.
You can find his material on Green and Gold Rugby, Rugbydump Coaching and Youtube. You can also find him randomly arguing with people on Twitter.