The Anatomy of a Try: Israel Folau Waratahs vs Reds March 2014

Below is a short analysis of the first Israel Folau try for the New South Wales Waratahs against the Queensland Reds in this years Super XV. On face value it’s a simple try, but it’s interesting for a number of reason.

The first is that it’s clearly a pre-planned strike move from set piece ball – the holy grail.

The second is that while it’s Beale who makes the line break and Folau who takes the plaudits as try scorer, it’s the number of options Foley the NSW 10 has on the ball and how good his decision making is that makes the try for me. His options are a flat pass to Beale as a “front door” option and Folau as the “backdoor option” behind Beale. Adam Ashley-Cooper (AAC in the video) is the third option but it’s a straight short pass on a hard line – as it is Foley takes the flat pass option to Beale as he hits the line.

The third point that I find really interesting here is the fact that this occurs less than 2 minutes into the game. The Lineout comes directly from a penalty on the Reds 10 metre, so it’s certainly within kicking range for Foley and Beale. The Waratahs instead decide to go for the set piece to pull in the pack and run this strike move.

This is quite aggressive rugby, most teams will take the points when they are on offer that early in the game, but the Waratahs turn it down, back their attacking skills and go for the 5 points instead. It sets down a marker for the game and makes a bold statement of how they will play against the Reds – the move specifically targets key areas for the Reds, the Pod attacking Gill and Coopers channel, and isolating Harris and Tupuai in the Midfield.

It certainly unsettles the Reds and they never really get a strong footing in the game.



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