Video: Anatomy of a try - Folau vs Stormers - Green and Gold Rugby

Video: Anatomy of a try – Folau vs Stormers

Video: Anatomy of a try – Folau vs Stormers

Looking at the match stats from the Stormers vs Waratahs it’s pretty clear the stormers dominated the Tahs everywhere except the scoreboard.

They had a better tackle completion rate, 99/17 compared to the Tah’s 132/31. They had 59% possession. They conceded fewer penalties, beat more defenders, made more turnovers. They pretty much came out on top in all the key areas, except that elusive score board.

Yeah sure, the Stormers had a red card, and it obviously had an impact on the ending of the game, but what it really comes down to is being efficient and accurate with the possession you have, and simply put the Tahs were the Stormers weren’t.

I know, that seems a bit backwards but in this weeks Green and Gold Rugby Podcast Matt raised a point about converting missed tackles into line breaks, and it’s extremely pertinent, because if we consider from the 31 missed tackles by the Tahs the Stormers only generated 11 clean breaks, and in contrast the Tah’s generated 15 from 17 we start to get an idea of how much more successful with ball in hand the Tahs were.

Of the 17 missed tackles the Stormers conceded, 10 were by their backs, of the Tahs 31 missed tackles only 7 were from the backs.

That kind of means little until we drill down to the individual player level where we can see the Stormers midfield (10,12,13) missed 7 tackles to the Tah’s 3, and if we dig deeper we can see that 6 of those missed tackles were by the Stormers 12 & 13. Damian de Allende specifically made and missed 4 tackles.

Missing tackles in itself isn’t the biggest issue, of course ideally you want to make them all but errors happen and quite often impact is more important than amount.

To illustrate, the impact of De Allendes four missed tackles is that two tries are scored. Those two lead directly to the Tahs scoring with the Stormers making no tackles after those missed by de Allende

Now we’ve looked at de Allende’s defence before (HERE).

Back in July his indecision around defending these screened passing movements with runners coming around the corner led to Ashley-Cooper’s try. Again in both this and the Beale try we see the Waratahs exploit his channel with screened passing.

It’s clearly not all on de Allende, he’s a reasonably solid one on one tackler but defence is a unit skill, and these kind of issues arise when a player becomes disconnected from his team mates and perhaps under Treu the Stormers haven’t really worked on these kind of defensive scenarios.

Perhaps. But I guess that raises the question, is it poor defence or great attack?

I think it’s a bit of both really, But when a defensive mistake happens you have to exploit the opportunity so I’m going to come down on the side of great attack; everything about this try is a joy to watch and we see the influence of key individuals throughout the try.

Skelton’s dummy run is a perfect example. Ok, it’s just a dummy line, but that line is the same one he runs time and time again over the course of the game, and that is exactly why the back row couldn’t drift out because he’s a viable option.

Likewise the screened runners just before Beales brilliant delayed pass to Folau on the unders line. Hooper and Kellerway are genuine options, and while it’s easy to say de Allende is a poor defender the fact is the Tahs attacking shape was likely to lead to a line break if not there then on the outside channel.

It’s a great try, and certainly one for Folau’s highlights reel, but more likely one for the Tahs analysis team to flag up as everything working well.

  • Josh Macy

    Great to see so many options in play rather than just the old school “stuff happens in midfield” and ball goes wide to wing.

  • Mart

    Just working out how to put this on loop as my screen saver

  • Its clear from the video that the Waratahs identified a weakness in the midfield and exploited it. Or is it? I think the key to this try is that the Tahs have options all across the line that they have used before, often in this actual game.

    Skelton’s run line is the line he usually runs, so the two backrowers have to keep him covered. That fixes the two on the inside (provided the move is run at high speed so they cannot both mark Skelton and drift).

    Hooper is running the overs line from deep that the Tahs use regularly with him and he could have got the ball with de Allende stranded on the inside. Likewise Kellaway is running the same overs line but forward of Hooper. Had the ball gone to him I suspect a try would have resulted on the outside.

    So what can you say about de Allende’s defence? My original reaction was “Poor bastard didn’t stand a chance”. Looking at it again I haven’t changed my mind.

    • Hey mate, to be fair to me, I do make pretty much those exact points in my article:

      1: it’s not all on de Allende
      2: Skelton’s run is the same he repeatedly makes
      3: Hooper and Kellerway offer the backdoor options

      In the video I did try to point out that if de Allende had held his line speed Beale would likely have played the backdoor option to Hooper or Kellerway and a line break would likely have occurred – but it’s pretty clear this move is about creating options by flooding that 12 channel.

      What I would say about de Allende’s defence is that he made 4 and missed 4 tackles, only Hooper and Dennis missed more (but had a better success ratios), and 2 of those missed tackles lead directly to tries.

      The simple fact is he’s made these exact same mistakes for a number of years and has a massive issue defending these screened passing patterns.

      Defence is a unit skill no doubt, and this is an example of breaking it down, but breaking down defences with strike moves is very much about exploiting these stress points when they occur.

  • Davo

    Interesting observation about Waratahs losing most of the stats but winning the game. It seemed like a reverse situation in the Brumbies v Highlanders game. I couldn’t believe how much good quality ball the Brumbies had, that their backs couldn’t convert to points.

    • AlanDownunder

      No team ever quite dominated super rugby like the 2003 Blues and their possession and territory stats were always “worse” than their opponents’. That was because they tended to score before they could put numbers on their possession stat and because they spent too little time between getting out of their own half and getting over their opponents goal line.

      • Exactly Alan, it’s all about being efficient (or clinical in old speak).

        Think the Tahs are a way off that but in this game they were certainly better at taking their chances.

  • Bobas

    Great analysis, you should have probably run the tape a bit longer and discussed the sack whack celebration on Latu.
    Almost perfect Mr Forbes, but we cant all be short balls from KB.

    • have you seen the Exeter Chiefs try celebrations in the Aviva Prem? Pretty much the whole team lines up to give the try scorer a friendly little cock tap… :D

  • moaning expat

    Always the posts I like forward to most ” analysis of ” from the DBA. I can’t thank you enough. Wish there was more of it.


an Englishman living in France, Graeme runs the Rugby Analysis website He coaches in his spare time, is an IRB qualified coach and you can catch him on twitter lazily re-tweeting other peoples comments.

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