There are fewer things more exciting than an England team that attack the gain line. With all their power runners in full flow England on their day are akin to a force of nature. There is (almost) nothing that can stand in its way.
When I think of the all time great England Teams of the 90’s and early 00’s, the wonderful Rugby they played was first and foremost about knocking seven bells out of the opposition until they, just, folded.Embed from Getty Images
The best England teams have always had that very obvious trait in their genetic makeup. Love it or hate it, it’s an identity that is well suited to the current squads inherent abilities.
Which is why this try is so glorious, because it takes all of the powerful tools at England’s disposal, dangles them in front of a Welsh defence who collectively must be thinking “we know what you’re doing” then pulls the mat from under their feet and goes a graceful and skilful route to the line.
We all know how difficult it is to break down the modern defences, but Wales were strangely passive when defending first phase ball, this try being a perfect example of the Welsh defence showing a real lack of urgency to shut down the English threats and handing them all the control early on.
England obligingly send three of their best weapons into the heart of the welsh defence, only to then use the silky soft feet of Anthony Watson to glide through a completely different area, the space left around the edge of the Maul.Embed from Getty Images
We can look at the stats, we can look at possession, time in play and all the other tells in the game. Whatever about the numbers and the desire to get early momentum. England do this early score thing regularly and two players always front and centre are Manu Tuilagi and Ben Youngs.
Tuilagi’s trademark barrelling carry off the line out or Scrum and Youngs lateral dart interesting the weak link in the defence before picking out that short ball runner (or man in the open behind) are about as close to a blueprint for England as you can get.
Even here, we see Youngs dart laterally interesting the 1st and 2nd defenders, Tuilagi runs his trademark out to in hardline interesting Biggar enough he has to push and leave Navidi isolated, only for Youngs to pull of a brilliant pass back against the grain, threading it to Watson at pace.
It’s one of the best England try’s in recent memory and we break it down in a little more detail below.
Author: The Dead Ball Area