Video Analysis: Wallabies Lineout v Ireland - Green and Gold Rugby

Video Analysis: Wallabies Lineout v Ireland

Video Analysis: Wallabies Lineout v Ireland

What’s happening with the Wallabies lineout and what can they do to fix it?

As I watched the game against Ireland the other night I formed the view that our lineout performance had been woeful.  After analysing each lineout, I’m not feeling as unhappy. Don’t get me wrong – it wasn’t good enough and there’s lots to work on – but it wasn’t a complete disaster.  Have a look at the video analysis of each attacking lineout (apart from the one where there was no footage) to see what I mean.


We won 13 from 18, which is barely a pass mark and certainly needs to be lifted if we’re going to get back to the top of world rugby.  Last weekend against England we won 11 from 15, so no real change from week to week.  The following table summarises what happened in each lineout.

Wallabies Throw Numbers Thrown To Result Notes
1st Half Lineouts
1 7 #1 Won Fake by Elsom at #5 – Horwill walks forward to #1 and thrown short with no lift or jump
2 5 #2 Won Good throw to Chisolm who beat his opponent getting up
3 Won Not shown on coverage
4 5 #4 Lost Throw looked okay – Robinson had to move from #1 to #4 to lift Horwill and it looks like they didn’t get Horwill up fast enough
5 6 #2 Lost Throw was too low to Palu – Irish jumper simply took it out of Palu’s hands
6 5 #3 Lost Throw was in the right position to Chisolm but at the point of arrival the lifters don’t have their arms extended. Either the timing was wrong or it was a poor lift. As a result Chisolm doesn’t quite reach the ball and knocks on.
7 7 #6 Won Throw to Elsom with Ireland not getting a jumper up
8 5 #3 Won Throw to Chisolm who just beats his opponent but a loose one handed tap down. Irish lock came through the lineout early and should have been penalised.
9 5 #3 Lost Same as previous lineout but this time the Irish jumper just gets in front of Chisolm.
10 5 #3 Won Same as previous lineout but this time Chisolm beats his opponent.
2nd Half Lineouts
1 5 #2 Won Elsom straight up at #2. Good clean win
2 7 #2 Won Palu straight up at #2. Good clean win. Notice how Moore nods to Palu to tell him when to jump which suggests they know they’re not getting the timing right.
3 7 #6 Won Horwill straight up at #6. Good clean win.
4 5 #3 Won Chisolm straight up at #3. Good clean win.
5 5 #2 Won Elsom straight up at #2. Throw was a little low but good grab by Elsom.
6 7 #2 Won Horwill straight up at #2. Good clean win.
7 5 #3 Won Chisolm straight up at #3. Good clean win.
8 4+1 #2 Lost Elsom moves forward at #2 andthe lift is late. The Irish jumper is 1 metre off the ground before Elsom leaves the ground and as a result easily beats Elsom to the ball.


Lineout numbers 4 and 6 in the first half and number 8 in the second half were the result of poor or slow lifting.  Lineouts number 5 in each half were the only two where I saw the throw as being the issue and we only lost one of those.  The only other loss was lineout number 9 in the first half where the Irish jumper just got in front of Chisolm.  The positives are that the throwing has improved over the last two games and more variety has been added (I thought the first lineout straight to Horwill at #1 was a good option).

The negative is that we are still having problems with the timing of our lifting.  The final Wallabies lineout in the game shows how poor we are in this area. Okay, it was late in the game and there may have been fatigue but take a close look at the video to see how far ahead of us the Irish were in this lineout and they were fatigued as well.  Unfortunately the Wallabies saved their worst lineout performance of the game for the lineout that gave Ireland the field position they needed at the end of the game!  At least with solid throwing there is a platform for improvement in timing because the lifters and jumpers will start to gain confidence that the ball will be delivered where they need it to be.

Now let’s look at the Wallabies defensive lineout.  In this area there was little improvement from the England game.  Against England we were only able to win 2 from 16.  This week we were only able to win 1 from 14 (and that was only when the Irish communication broke down and they didn’t jump).  If we are going to become a real threat to the top teams, we have to start being able to pressure their ball at the set piece.  We’re doing that now in the scrums but we are ineffective in the lineout.  The following table summarises what happened in each lineout.

Ireland Throw Numbers Thrown To Result (for Wallabies) Notes
1st Half Lineouts
1 7 #4 Lost Chisolm up slower than Irish jumper so not high enough when ball arrives
2 6 #2 Lost No jump from the Wallabies even though ball near halfway
3 7 #4 Lost Both Horwill and Chisolm up but too slow so not high enough when ball arrives
4 6 #5 Lost Chisolm up slower than Irish jumper so not high enough when ball arrives
5 7 #4 Lost Chisolm leaves the ground at the same time but he is being lifted by Robinson only whereas the Irish have two lifters. Wallabies had two lifters on Elsom who jumped at #5. As a result, Chisolm never gets up high enough to threaten
6 7 #6 Lost Elsomleaves the groundwell after the Irish jumper so isn’t high enough when the ball arrives. Ball goes over the back but Irish recover on the ground.
7 7 #5 Lost Chisolm is slower getting off the ground but at least gets a hand on the ball for some disruption
2nd Half Lineouts
1 5 #3 Lost Horwill is only lifted by one lifter so never gets high enough to threaten
2 7 #4 Lost Wallabies don’t compete – ball near our 22
3 7 #5 Won Irish don’t get a jumper up and ball falls into our hands
4 7 #5 Lost No jump from the Wallabies even though ball near halfway
5 7 #4 Lost Wallabies don’t compete – ball near our 22
6 7 #6 Lost Wallabies don’t compete – ball near our 22
7 7 #5 Lost Wallabies don’t compete – ball near our 22


The following video shows those points.  I’ve also included a still frame after each lineout showing the moment the ball arrived at the lineout.  This demonstrates how far above the Wallaby jumpers the Irish were, which makes it impossible to put pressure on their ball.  I’ve marked a couple of those still frames with red lines indicating the relative height of the players.



Here’s a similar video of last weeks defensive  lineouts against England.



It is apparent that we have an issue with the timing as we are slow getting off the ground far too often.  This could be that we’re not reading the timing of the opposition throw but if you have another look at the Irish defensive lineout video you’ll see their hooker makes a very pronounced movement just before he throws.  It shouldn’t have been hard to anticipate when he was going to throw.  If that was the problem, it’s a fairly basic issue that can be fixed.

However, I suspect it’s actually an issue of being reactive rather than anticipating where the ball is going and jumping that little bit earlier.  I’d prefer to see us get jumpers up a second earlier even if they haven’t predicted exactly where the ball is going – at least they’d get it right some of the time and just by being up before the opposition you exert some pressure on the throw.

Should be a busy week for Jim Williams and the forwards.

  • Great stuff Scott.

    We’re missing lineout smarts pure and simple. I know Big Jim was the coach at Munster for a bit, but I’m assuming O’Connell was the lineout wiz there. also Jim was obviously a back rower, so would never be so steeped in the dark arts, which is traditionally passed down from lock to lock.

    We have no specialist jumping lock expertise in the squad at the moment. My vote would be to get Vicks along to the training sessions and throw a bit of expertise in there.

    • Patrick

      what about throw him in the bloody team?

    • Ed

      Yeah get vicks where ever we can. Wat really worries me about big jim is that he was a centre for a fair while before he moved to the loose

  • The biggest concern for me is the lack of pressure in the defensive. Agreed, that without the tactician in the locks, just throw the first pod up high and see what happens, any pressure is better than letting them have it and set the maul/get clean ball. you would lose a little in the second the maul formed, but that is nothing to what could potentially be gained.

    I think that is a great idea gagger, getting vicks in, but I get the feeling that robbie is convinced he can do it himself (similar to my 2y.o.) and is too proud to get help in. I could be wrong, just an impression i get. you know, my team, my squad, my way…

    • I agree there was a lack of pressure, but at least we’re contesting now. If we’re in the air then at least we’re a chance to poach it, and did poach one. Shame we didn’t try that in the Bledisloe against the mis-firing kiwi set piece

  • Thanks for posting this Scott,
    Seeing these highlights after the fact, once the emotion is taken out of the event, it’s amazing that we sucked nowhere near as much as I remembered!

    TPN had a pretty good game throwing too…

  • Robson

    Awesome analysis. Thanks. I agree that TPN has polished up his throwing act considerably and that is not only a relief, but an advantage having two powerful hookers who are both up to their lineout duties.

    The other thing which occurred to me during the match was that we now have four throw to options so the throw can be mixed up a bit. I think that might just be the grit in the oil at the moment; meaning that there could be a few co-ordination problems with the lifters with so many calling options.

    I’m pretty sure that constant work will get this right.

  • Ishmael

    So which one was the one where the ball went straight over the top into Irish hands? Because as far as I could tell the Wallaby jumper was up early and in the right position but the ball went too far over his head. There was no competition, it was simply a poor throw.

    As much as the jumper’s are obviously not all there, it seems to me as though Moore’s throwing has gone backwards. He used to be a sniper but these days it seems as though he can only hit a target that’s in the air and uncontested.

  • Spook

    Good analysis Scott. Chis seems to be doing a lot of lineout jumping. I thought Horwill would be better in the air? Anyway, winning ball at 2 is better than not getting any ball at all but this is preventing Gits and the centres from getting over the gain line. We need to win ball off top more often.


Scott is one of our regular contributors from the old days of G&GR. He has experience coaching Premier Grade with two clubs in Brisbane.

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