Despite many protestations, 2019 was one of the most incredible Rugby World Cups to date. High drama from International Coaches not knowing the laws (Cheika) to Typhoons nearly derailing the entire competition.
It also threw out some incredible games of Rugby along the way, Japan beating Ireland and Scotland, New Zealand walloping eventual winners South Africa and Uruguay beating Fiji possibly the second biggest upset in the World Cup’s History.
It was also the first time no teams went undefeated during a World Cup.
(Depending on allegiances) possibly the stand out game of the World Cup was England’s dismantling of the All Blacks in the Semi-Final.
It’s not often we see a New Zealand team so dominated and for fans and analysts alike it’s a game that people keep referring back to so in this video we are going to look at the Defence in this game and plucked a short sequence of play out of the game to analyse.
The picked clip starts with New Zealand defending and the ball transitions between the two teams a couple of times (It’s an approx 2 minutes worth of play).
Notice how the teams moved from attack to defence and back again and especially notable is the fact both teams generate line speed by standing a few paces off the rear of the ruck so they can move before the ball leaves the 9’s hands.
Below we can see England setting off from a good few paces behind the offside Ruck.
It’s essentially what attacks have been doing for years.
Start moving before the tackle line so you can win the space and the gain line.
The point is simple, if you’re moving before the ball is moving you’re:
A; going at pace when the ball is in play
B; which allows you to operate closer to the gain line (in attack that’s seen as playing flat, in defence it’s line speed).
C; it stops you giving silly offside penalties away in your key areas (important against high % kickers)
Defensively it really came to prominence in 2018 when Faf De Klerk was deployed as a human exocet missile in South Africa’s series win over England.
Below we can see New Zealand deploying the same tactic with the aim of shutting the heavy artillery of England’s ball carriers down.
It didn’t quite work out for New Zealand as outlined in Wibbles brilliant England Analysis which you can watch here: https://youtu.be/eqMFnlyeEpI
England deploying a simple carrying tactic to beat the New Zealand shooters.
In the next Video (part 2) we’ll be looking closer at England’s defence so if you want to stay up to date with the videos and releases follow on Twitter or Facebook.
Author: The Dead Ball AreaGraeme 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.