Video: Anatomy of a Try – Rory Arnold vs Western Force
ACT Brumbies

Video: Anatomy of a Try – Rory Arnold vs Western Force

Video: Anatomy of a Try – Rory Arnold vs Western Force

We all like to see running rugby but the game can’t always be about length of the field tries and behind the back passes, Ben Tune style.

Sometimes teams just have to take the points on offer and get themselves into a position to win the game whether it be a classic rolling maul or a pushover scrum.

While the ACT Brumbies vs the Western Force last week served up some lovely running rugby and some cracking open field tries, we’re not going look at any of those though and instead look at the Brumbies first try scored off a maul from a 5m line out.

Now I fully admit, seeing the big lads cuddle isn’t always the most entertaining part of the game, but technical forward play is a massively important part of the game. Teams who can’t get parity up front can have all the flashy backs in the world and still come out on the wrong end of the score.

If a forward pack is able to demonstrate superiority early on it gives the halfbacks and the back three the confidence to play the game in the right areas of the field and gives the whole team the confidence that they can strangle the game for the win if their wider game isn’t paying off.

It’s something that should never be underestimated and the ACT Brumbies being one of the most pragmatic teams in the Aussie Conference know this.

This is one of the reasons this try was so important in this game. It literally told us everything we needed to know about the ACT Brumbies ability to dominate the Western Force upfront. The try comes from a lineout, that transitions into a maul and then a series of pick and goes, but importantly it’s the 2nd or 3rd time the ACT Brumbies had caught and set the ball from a line out the previous times making substantial gains.

You can often tell a lot about a game in its first 5-10 minutes and it was clear that from the first try in the game that no matter how bravely the Western Force played they were not leaving Canberra with the points.  It had a huge effect on the game and set down a serious marker for both the game and the rest of the season.

Five minutes into the game it sent a message to the Western Force that no matter what they  did the ACT Brumbies could just walk it over their line and score. Teams that have the ability to do this gain a huge psychological impact over their opposition and you can be certain other teams will be taking notice of the ACT Brumbies ability to tighten up when they need to.

Australian Rugby for me has always been about intelligent play, and using limited resources to make a team that is better than it’s component parts. Maybe that’s why I like the ACT Brumbies so much, because for me they are a team that think about the game and approach it in a methodical manner making full use of all their players.

  • Lee Grant

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but five points is five points.

    Aussie teams are usually poor maulers and worse at defending them; so I guess that’s why Aussies have a jaundiced view of them.

    We have a point: just about every maul is technically illegal and the fact that most other rugby contest are also, doesn’t change our disdain of the maul.

    — “placing a hand on another player does not constitute binding”— yet the ball carrier nearly always slides his arm to fall back to allow team mates to get in front of him to make the maul longer; sometimes you can even see his hand come away from a team-mate: not that the hand constituted a binding in the first place.

    — “…if the player joins the maul … in front of the hindmost team-mate, the player is offside.” — yet we saw Squeaky Moore throw to a lineout at least once in the game mentioned and run along the line of touch to take his position in front of the ball carrier, as a matter of routine. All sides do it.

    I don’t want to get rid of the maul. The modern maul has been around (legally) for almost 60 years: but the retreat of the ball carrier to the rear of a maul to make it longer, and the sideways entry of team-mates after the maul forms are obvious infractions nearly all of the time.

    Referees permit this and other things, such as allowing one-meter scrum feeds 30 degree skew – yet they tut-tut if a 15-metre throw to a line out is a few degrees off, and they blow the whistle.

    The conventions that referees observe have become quasi-law, but they are often contrary to the laws both in the letter and the spirit of them.

    The refs follow each other, but their practices have not improved the game.

    End of rant.

    • Hey Lee, I agree with pretty much everything you say.

      When i was looking at this I was a bit undecided if i should go into the binding debate or not and chose to stick to things that were easily quantifiable.

      But there are some issues and I think Scotty Allen covers it better here in a way that’s beyond me as a former back :) :

      It’s a big discussion point here during the 6 Nations, along with the choke tackle, and when we have international Referees like Owens saying on national radio these things are serious issues effecting the game you have to start to wonder.

  • brumby runner

    I could see that the Brumbies had some forward domination in the opening plays of the game, including Rory’s try. But I wish I could have your confidence at that point to say that the game is in the bag. It just doesn’t seem so cut and dried to me, or maybe I’m too much of a nervous-nelly.

    • fair comments, and i understand.

      Maybe it’s different for me a neutral but i thought it was a real statement of intent, and after this try there wasn’t really a point where I felt the Force were in with a chance of winning the game – even when Cummins went over i still felt the tide was with ACT.

      • Stray Gator

        I’m also a neutral and I felt the same – that the Force were clinging on with fingertips from this point on. The Brumbies are such a smart team.

  • Hightower

    Great article, love watching Rory, huge potential. With pocock back, the brumbies pack is looking a lot stronger than the last few years.

  • Who Needs Melon

    The best part: Nic White cleaning out at the ruck early on. How many other 9s would do that. He did it very well: went in low and drove upwards. Very smart to recognise he needed to switch roles and make that decision and action in an instant. Certainly saved a turnover I think.

  • Patrick

    Hi Graeme – where are you in France? Are you going to Lyon v Toulon by any chance?

    • hey mate, I’m based in Paris, so won’t be going to the Lyon vs Toulon game – it’s a long old trek from Paris :)

      • Patrick

        Fair enough!

ACT Brumbies

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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