When I’m sat in my chair dreaming of yesteryear, when the Wallabies and the states were once successful (OK, a while back), there was a key facet of the game that I thought we were pretty damn good at; support play.
In my minds eye I can see Larkham having “ghosted” through the ABs, finding Roff with a wide pass and putting him clear. Or Campo getting on the end of a final pill that had worked it’s way through many a hand.
But now I can’t help but feel we’re shit at it. The likes of the Crusaders have spearheaded a brand of winning rugby that maximses every turnover and line break by turning them into a guaranteed 5 pointers through a sudden surge of intelligent support play that makes the most of space and knows how finish the deal.
We, on the other hand, only seem to now like our tries within 20m of the breakdown, preferably actually from first phase. Fuck having to run any further than that.
Can’t we have both?
I’ve plucked out a couple of examples from just this weekend that give you an idea of what I’m wanging on about. First off, a simple break finished cleanly with a man supporting in space by the Highlanders vs the Reds.
Check out the way the boys at the back all hare off down field to support should the ball get held up, but the sweetness of the linkages ensure that’s not needed.
Now cop a load at this triple clusterfuck from the Tahs. I’m not trying to zero in on Mowen too much here (for fuck sake PASS), he is after all, the one who makes the break in the first place and is ‘just a piggy’. My bigger question is where the fuck are the rest of the finishers who should have iced this baby a coupla times over? A Leon McDonald or a Tuitivake would have gobbled these up without friggen blinking.
So is it that fucken hard to do? Why can’t we?
Is it fitness? I thought all the S14 teams were gonna be fitter than ever (apart from Leroy Houston obviously)?
Is it ‘cos we’ve stopped giving a shit about Sevens?
Robbie Deans is the fucken jedi master of it. Why aren’t we all his paduans?