Another week, another Adam Ashley-Cooper try orchestrated by Bernard Foley. I make no apologies for saying I’m a big fan of both players, and I feel both have delivered time and time again throughout this world cup campaign none more so than during the semi-final against Argentina.
So we’re going to have a look at Ashley-Coopers first try, the Pumas decision making leading up to it, the defensive lapse the Wallabies exploited and the fantastically worked strike move they used to set Ashley-Cooper free on the right.
One of my bug bears in this World Cup has been teams inability to exit their own red zones efficiently, and on Saturday we saw a Pumas side committing suicide as they repeatedly turned down chances to clear their lines and build pressure on the Australians.
Leading into this try, Argentina waste three opportunities to clear their lines – this is one minute after they’ve scored and reduced the Australian lead to 4 points. So to get stuck in your own 22, and pass up 3 golden opportunities to ease pressure is criminal. Yeah ok, they played exciting rugby but this was a semi-final. Somewhere the pragmatist in me was crying and it felt as if Argentina being devoid of a way to beat this Wallabies defence they just decided to chance their arm and enjoy their final flourish.
In contrast Australia were patient, composed and took the chances when they came. Yeah, we got a wonder try by way of Drew Mitchell and Ashley-Cooper but I’m struggling to think of many occasions where Australia left points on the paddock.
So, onto the try. There are a few things worth noting:
- Once again we see Australia exploit the midfield option.
- The pumas decision making leading into this try is frankly shocking
- Bernard Foley’s decision making is exceptional
- Bernard Foley’s pass is even better
- The panic Folau causes in defenders.
- The poor defensive organisation the Pumas deploy ahead of this try.
We’ve done quite a bit of analysis over the last year, looking at various pieces of play, and tries and the underlying factor in all of them is that Rugby union when played well is a very simple game. None more so than this try from Adam Ashley-Cooper in the semi final against Argentina
I’m not going to say anything about Saturdays game other than good luck to the Wallabies, and fingers crossed they can take New Zealand down. It’s not that I don’t like New Zealand, it’s that considering how far this Wallabies team has come in just over 12 months I think it would be great to see them lift the trophy.
Either way it’s shaping up to be a belter, enjoy!