Why Are The Wallabies Slowing Their Rucks Down? - Green and Gold Rugby

Why Are The Wallabies Slowing Their Rucks Down?

Why Are The Wallabies Slowing Their Rucks Down?

The Wallabies’ attack struggled to put pressure on the All Blacks defence on Saturday and a lift in  performance in this area will be required this weekend.

One area there’s been a lot of discussion regarding is the Wallabies slowing their ball down from their rucks. I see Bob Dwyer criticised Will Genia in his latest article for G&GR for his ‘insistence’ on slowing down the delivery. Whilst I agree with Bob’s theme that the Wallabies need to play an up-tempo game and use fast ball to keep stretching defences, I think his criticism of Genia is wide of the mark.

Genia delivered the ball from 62 rucks on Saturday. Of those I rated 54 as delivered quickly. Most quick rucks will see the ball delivered from the time it’s clear of the ruck and available within one second, but I’ve allowed a maximum of two seconds for a ruck to be rated as ‘quick’, up to four seconds for an ‘average’ rating, and anything over that is ‘slow’. Actually I didn’t rate any rucks on Saturday as ‘average’. I’ve listed the rucks in the table at the end of this article.

Of the eight rucks that I rated slow, Genia slowed only one. Berrick Barnes called six to be slowed (two jointly with David Pocock) and Kurtley Beale slowed the other. I’ve included clips of each of those rucks in the accompanying video so you can see for yourselves.

Why would any of these players call for a ruck to be slowed when the ball was available to play? Is this an option the players came up with on the field, or is this something they’ve been practising and is directed by the coaches?

The main reason you may need to slow a ruck down is if you have no attackers with support ready to play – there is simply no point in passing the ball to a one-out runner who risks being turned over at the next breakdown. Every team should aim to not have this situation occur, and that requires players to realign quickly. However, if the situation does occur in a game it’s then a valid option to slow delivery down until players get into position and the attack can be restarted.

The important thing is that with delivery slowed down to allow players time to get organised, those players should be well enough organised to allow the next series of rucks to be quick. There is no argument for going into a series of slow rucks (unless you’re trying to run the clock down at the end of a half).

In the case of the ruck Genia slowed down at 72:16 on the game clock, it was because Barnes, Beale and Pocock were all in the ruck. But he had Sitaleki Timani, Rob Horne, Nathan Sharpe and Digby Ioane on the left side of the field ready to attack space, and he should have released the ball to them straight away. Instead he waited for Stephen Moore and James Slipper to move to the other side of the ruck, and that extra time gave the All Blacks time to organise their defence and take the space away.  So for that decision of Genia’s, I think criticism would be fair.

The first ruck Barnes slowed down at 4:23 on the game clock came from a five-man lineout win where Pocock was at halfback. As you can see in the clip the backline was set with Timani in midfield as the extra man. There was no reason for this ruck to be slowed down but you can see Barnes holding play until Sharpe and Tatafu Polota-Nau come around and set up a screen and Sekope Kepu moves out into the backline to support. When Genia arrived at the breakdown the All Blacks were quite narrow in defence and were still short of the gain line, but by the time Barnes moved the forwards into the position he wanted them the All Blacks had got their defence set. It was then no surprise when the All Black defence simply ran the Wallabies over the touch line, in one of the least imaginative pieces of attack by a Wallabies team for a long time.

In the second ruck Barnes slowed down, at 16:26 on the game clock, it looked like he was taking the time to set up for a clearing kick — but in the clip you can see Barnes isn’t looking to Genia for the ball, he’s got his head turned to Beale outside him because he was setting up for a long pass to Beale for him to kick or to try an audacious wide play. Whatever the intention was, it went horribly wrong when the pass from Barnes went well behind Beale.

The third ruck Barnes slowed down, at 24:00 on the clock, was slowed by both him and Pocock when the Wallabies were just metres out from the All Blacks’ line, but having committed large numbers to the ruck were short of attackers.  In the clip you can see that Genia is on the ground from the previous ruck; Pocock is holding his hand up indicating for everyone to slow down until Genia gets there, and Barnes is pointing where he wants the forwards to move to. This delay allowed time for Adam Ashley-Cooper to get out of the ruck and Sharpe to join a pod of forward attackers to receive the ball. Prior to the delay there were no glaring attacking opportunities so I’d consider this to be a reasonable decision to allow a restart of the attack, particularly as the next ruck was a quick one that enabled Timani to lead a raid down the short side.

However, Barnes had no attacking options again so slowed his fourth ruck at 24:19 on the clock. In the clip you can see him pointing to where he wants the forwards to move to take the next play forward. This allowed time for four forwards to set up as a pod for the next ruck, but it also allowed the All Blacks to make sure their defence was set and the Wallabies were turned over at the breakdown (although the referee missed a clear penalty with Ma’a Nonu not rolling away and impeding the Wallabies’ support players from cleaning out efficiently).

The fifth ruck Barnes slowed down came at 37:41 on the game clock after another lineout and a driving maul. In the clip you can see him directing the forwards to set up a pod of three to take the ball forward. Again, the ruck was slow but at least allowed quick ball on the next phase, which started the sequence of plays that led to Sharpe’s try. So this slow ruck was not detrimental to the Wallabies’ attack.

The sixth ruck Barnes slowed down, at 63:52 on the game clock, was also slowed by Pocock. In the clip you can see both Barnes and Pocock directing forwards into position to set up a pod of four with Pocock himself carrying the ball, which sets up a quick ruck and Barnes uses that to run a wide play with Ioane. There was no glaring opportunity in attack that the Wallabies missed by slowing this ruck down.

The ruck Beale slowed down was at 77:46 on the game clock. In the clip you can see him directing players into position to set up a pod of three to take the ball forward which then generated a series of quick rucks targeting the left side of the field, designed to draw the All Blacks’ defence in before Beale tried a wide play on the right. That wide play was poor but the slow ruck that started the sequence wasn’t the cause of that problem.

So in seven of the eight slow rucks, it was Barnes or Beale in the playmaker role who directed the slowing down of the ruck. When that happens you wouldn’t expect the halfback to override that call and play on quickly anyway.

If criticism is deserved, Barnes would be the player that should be looked at — not Genia. However, I don’t think this is a tactic the players have come up with on the field.  The same slow ruck tactic was used throughout the series against Wales and if the coaches weren’t happy with it, they’ve had a few weeks with the team in the lead-up to this game to eliminate it.

The fact that Pocock was joining Barnes in slowing things down tells me this is a deliberate tactic that the Wallabies have included in their game plan.

The other telling sign is that every time this slow ball is called the time is taken to set up a pod of three or four forwards to either take the ball forward on the next phase or to act as a screen with the ball being passed behind them. This is intentional and part of the game plan, not something, Barnes, Beale, Pocock or Genia are improvising on the run.

Is it a good tactic?  I think it has a place, and only twice when it was used on Saturday was there any alternative opportunity lost by the Wallabies. Is using it on eight of 62 rucks too much? I don’t think so – the All Blacks use a similar slow ball pattern, as do most teams in modern rugby — but I don’t think it needs to be used very often.

If this tactic is going to be part of the Wallabies’ game plan, I’d like to see the forwards get into that pod or screen position much faster than they were managing on Saturday.

[youtube id=”K-Wvw7Jb5sk” width=”600″ height=”350″]

Ruck Number Time on Game Clock Speed Genia Passes To Quality of Pass
1 00:02:41 Quick Barnes Good
2 00:04:23 Slow Barnes Good
3 00:06:17 Quick Sharpe Good
4 00:06:23 Quick Higginbotham Good
5 00:11:09 Quick Beale Good
6 00:11:19 Quick Beale Good
7 00:14:51 Quick TPN Good
8 00:15:59 Quick Barnes Good
9 00:16:26 Slow Barnes Good
10 00:18:07 Quick Sharpe Good
11 00:20:11 Quick Barnes Good
12 00:23:30 Quick Dennis Good
13 00:24:00 Slow Pocock Good
14 00:24:06 Quick Timani Good
15 00:24:19 Slow Sharpe Good
16 00:24:55 Quick Barnes Good
17 00:30:38 Quick TPN Good
18 00:30:42 Quick Barnes Good
19 00:35:34 Quick Barnes Good
20 00:37:41 Slow TPN Average
21 00:37:48 Quick Faingaa Good
22 00:37:54 Quick Barnes Good
23 00:38:03 Quick Sharpe Good
24 00:38:08 Quick Barnes Good
25 00:38:14 Quick Ioane Good
26 00:38:23 Quick Sharpe Good
27 00:42:56 Quick Pocock Good
28 00:43:01 Quick Barnes Good
29 00:43:16 Quick Pocock Good
30 00:43:22 Quick Higginbotham Good
31 00:45:21 Quick Barnes Good
32 00:45:32 Quick Barnes Good
33 00:50:15 Quick Barnes Good
34 00:51:13 Quick Robinson Good
35 00:51:20 Quick Barnes Good
36 00:53:11 Quick Timani Good
37 00:59:17 Quick TPN Poor
38 00:59:23 Quick Barnes Good
39 01:03:15 Quick Ioane Good
40 01:03:23 Quick Sharpe Good
41 01:03:34 Quick Moore Good
42 01:03:52 Slow Pocock Good
43 01:03:58 Quick Barnes Good
44 01:10:37 Quick Barnes Good
45 01:12:16 Slow Horne Good
46 01:12:22 Quick Beale Good
47 01:14:08 Quick Sharpe Good
48 01:14:14 Quick Horne Good
49 01:14:19 Quick Beale Good
50 01:14:29 Quick Higginbotham Good
51 01:14:36 Quick Moore Good
52 01:14:42 Quick Pocock Good
53 01:16:19 Quick Barnes Good
54 01:16:26 Quick Barnes Poor – Pen to AUS
55 01:17:31 Quick Horne Good
56 01:17:46 Slow Pocock Good
57 01:17:53 Quick Moore Good
58 01:17:58 Quick Sharpe Good
59 01:18:06 Quick Slipper Poor
60 01:18:11 Quick Beale Good
61 01:18:31 Quick Barnes Good
62 01:18:42 Quick Beale Good
Quick 54
Slow 8
  • vidiot

    Wow. Scott, have you slept since Saturday? I really don’t understand how RD is getting this as wrong as he is. Coaching with this guy must be the ultimate frustration.

  • epi

    Great piece! Finally someone who gets it and doesn’t just start spouting off about egg hatching and penguins with no concept or thoughtful analysis of why.

  • Cyclopath

    Nice work, Scott. The notion that this is practiced seems likely, and the ABs seem to be well prepared for it. For me, it seems a key point of difference – the speed of the ABs in aligning their attacking pods is much better, or at least seems to be. The predictability of the Wallaby attacking platform would allow the “narrow” group of AB defenders the opportunity to rush, knowing they probably won’t give up a second “fast” attacking opportunity in doing so, since the Wallabies seem rarely to do this. The Wallabies also seem to present an easy target to a small defensive pod of 2-3 turning them over, as they were supporting the first group poorly.

  • Disco

    Yeah and I wanted Robbie Deans gone before I watched that video.

  • Richo

    Convincing, Scott. Really interesting analysis.

    In addition to the slow set-up of pods, they are very static. Could this tactic be effective if the pods receive the ball with some pace behind them?

    • Scott Allen

      When you go with a slow ball option, you slow everything right down.

      There’s no point slowing down a little bit – you may as well take the time to get everyone in place and that means for the phase after your re-start phase as well (so you actually get players set for two phases).

      The issue with that is that once you’ve gone slow it’s very hard to get the re-start pod in motion, so you start static with that pod and rely on the numbers around you to dominate the breakdown and achieve quick ball with runners in motion on the next phase.

      The key is the faster you get everyone into position, the less time the defence has to react. The Wallabies problem is that they reorganise very, very slowly. This needs to change.

      • Richo

        Can the pod start deeper and hit the pass point with some momentum? Given that the opposition already knows what’s coming, you’d at least hit the line with some weight. Or is this simply too difficult to execute?

        • Scott Allen

          You could do that but given forwards defending against a pod normally defend pretty well it’s hard to make ground in this situation even if the runner is in motion.

          Alternative is to stay staionery but flatten the pod up and go to ground as soon as contact is made so you can get really quick ball for next phase who are in motion.

          That option normally works better than trying to get the first pod in motion.

        • Richo

          Thanks, Scott.

  • The Rant

    Robbie finally developed a game plan!!!! YAY

    Step 1: Set up pod of forwards

    Step 2: Pass to a forward or go to barnes to distribute and try to stay inside the sidelines

    Step 3: Once ruck is established – Play whats in front of you!

  • BigNose

    I have no reason to doubt your most excellent analysis, Scott, but I wonder how the WBs manage to give the constant impression that the ball is slow, even if your numbers suggest it’s not. Watching it in real time, I was put in mind of the bad old days of seeing England grind from ruck to ruck without going anywhere.

    Is it that your 2 seconds for “quick” ball is too generous? I wonder what the average length of time is from “ball-carrier brought to ground” to “ball in the hands of first receiver/runner” for each of the teams.

    • Scott Allen

      The two seconds is what I’ve seen professional teams use. Count two seconds out loud and I think most teams would be happy if the ball is played within that time period.

      Not sure what the time from going to ground to time ball is in first receivers hands would be.

      Wallabies going from ruck to ruck without going forward has been seen regularly in the last few years!

      There were only four rucks in the match out of the 54 I rated as quick that were close to the two second mark. I think if you said it should be one second to be quick you’d have 50 quick, 4 average and 8 slow.

  • ooaahh

    somebody with influence give this guy a job. I figure he’s either a teacher or a barrister. Excellent explanation and analysis as always Scott. Thanks for contributing to such an excellent site.

  • Mighty Moth

    Surely a good old pick and drive will gain momentum whilst other players get in position and probably suck in some defenders as well. Sure as heck beats letting the opposition get a real good time to set defence for some predictable attack!

  • bludge


    i’ve done a fair amount of this analysis and you have to be very careful when you go to analyse something which you already have a firm view of. you’re essentially looking to prove a set hypothesis from the outset. its a bugger that you dont have a wider view angle to work with, but still go back and have a look at the AB line in every situation you outline. for example, your first example, at the beginning when you suggest the ball should go down the line… to after it’s been “slowed”, the AB line changes not a bit, and Maa Nonu takes 2 small steps wider. He’s merely marking movements of the Wallaby player he’s watching. You can see that a lot of the movement of the AB line is exactly this, through all the examples bar one, when 3 or 4 black forwards are running around behind to slide wide after the previous ruck.

    you’re probably right in that they’re being coached to set themselves carefully, but they’re still going to take advantage of a messy D line if it’s there… the fact is, it’s not there in any of the situations you outline. The D is already ready and marked up on the wallabies attack line. genia did make one break around the runck in the game, but you havent included that as a counterpoint… maybe that would be interesting to look at.

    at the end of the day, a tight defensive line means you have to go another route… chip chase, kick and then chase and smash the fullback as he catches, etc etc. is the question really why arent the wallabies trying these things? are their kickers just not accurate enough to manage it? the chasers are good enough. thats how the ABs put the grind on the wallabies in the WC semi, with kahui and co chasing kicks and destroying anyone that caught them, then picking up turnover ball. why cant the wallabies do this? the saffers have done it.

    anyway, good work and i always like your stuff.

  • I think one of the reasons it FEELS like more than 8 rucks out of 62 is the impact each of those then have on the ensuing tackle contests:

    – it sets each of those up behind the gainline
    – it gives the opposition therefore more chance of a dominant tackle and turnover
    – it closes any potential defensive holes

    If you say that each of these 8 slowed rucks then influence 2 more, you’ve got 32 “infected” breakdowns – this out of 62 is a hell of a lot more!

    • Jay

      24 surely?

  • Jimbo

    Dear Scott. Your analysis about a week or so ago dealing with the Wallabies playing patterns were spot on. This again is a wonderful piece of analysis. About 18 minutes into the game your segment helped me predict the Wallies play. I’ve honestly never been as unconcerned about you lot as I have that very night. Nothing had changed it’s as if Dingo thought the formations he used (or the lack of them) would beat the AB’s. Nutty arrogant stuff, wheres the consistency wheres the phase play? The AB’s generally speaking read nearly all the plays. I also agree Bob was a little harsh on Genia. Love the analysis though mate and it’s one of the best things about GnG.

  • BloodRed

    Wow. I’m no longer sceptical, Deans must be a NZ plant. Slowing our ball down deliberately, he’s got the Wallabies doing the All Blacks job for them. Sheer genius NZRU. And the ARU couldn’t see that a former all black, 8 year crusaders coach and former ABs assistant wouldn’t have our best interests at heart.

    • johnny-boy

      Gold Bloodred. Make it nice and slow so the All Blacks have plenty of time to reset. Magnificent brilliant tactics by Deans and that up himself goose McGahan.
      It’s a wonder the All Blacks don’t fall over backwards laughing thinking this is just so f… easy. The games up you f… nun lovers. We know we’re being screwed over now.
      Thanks Scott. Love your work.

  • Geoff

    Great article Scott my question is how did that compare to say Aaron Smiths clearances because the timing of positioning by the receiving players is critical and to me the All Blacks nearly always had someone on to the ball quickly hence the difference to go forward momentum

  • Bullrush

    Genia doesn’t have to wait for 4 forwards to be set up and waiting before giving the pass. He can give it while there are just 2 which forces the other forwards to get straight to the ensuing ruck quickly. The danger obviously is that if they don’t move their asses, there is potential for a turnover but good half backs get that rocket under their forwards to get involved and to do it now. Good half backs have the forwards playing to his tempo far more often that Genia seems to be able to.

    • Scott Allen

      Which is what he does at the Reds where the coaches know how important fast ball is and he doesn’t have a #10 telling him to slow it down!

  • johnny-boy

    The similarities between the way the Wallabies play and the way the Waratahs play are quite uncanny

  • peterlala

    Great analysis, Scott. This should be all over the sports pages.

  • In the centres

    Well its been four years or more of rebuilidng and scripted media comments. Im sick of it and every grass roots rugby player and supporter I know are sick of it as well. Its about time there was an independent review into Australian Rugby – Coaching, Performance, Management, Old Boy Cronyism, State Rugby Politics etc . Just like Cricket had to to go forward!
    Every player who has ever pulled on the boots will tell you – its all about quick ball and drawing in the defence and playing your moves. Even in the Under 10’s we had some simple set moves – but the Wallabies appear to have none, we dont even look like we have a “Play Book”. Todays game which is largely about set pieces, screams and demands that you have a move or a play to run at every opportunity and you rehearse these a million times at training. But “NO” – we have nothing, display nothing, show no creative attack or attempt at making an extra man or really working hard on getting the game changers into the actual contest. For christs sake we have NRL teams running plays every weekend against brilliant defensive sides and they can still open it up and score tries and we learn nothing from this. So the AB’s post two tries with sleight of hand and decoys and have us on toast. No matter how you analyse the game – the facts remain the same – we have an under performing team + coaching staff. Will someone please get Kearns / Sam Scott Young and Tony Shaw into the frigging dressing room and tell them whats really required to put it to the All Blacks. By the way – I have a South African Play Book from 40 or more years ago with every conceivable move you might want to play and its still valid for attacking & running Rugby. I can send it free of charge if everyones forgotten how to play the game. We use to have some moves you know – like the Willie O dummy off the back of the scrum to breakaway and Farr Jones on an angle from the inside. Oh Yeah – I forgot ……thats when we had a scrum too! Come on guys – review the old tapes….bring back our Rugby.

  • Dave

    One of the main criticisms of Giteau that contributed to him being given the boot was that he played too deep and too wide and defences had “work this out”. Why then, have we regressed back to this? Is QC the only player capable of playing flat and keeping the defences guessing?
    That move that saw Barnes standing deep and ended with AAC bundled into touch which, like you say, was a practised move and more than likely came from the coaching staff. Doesn’t this clearly show how uncreative they are? Truly snore-inspiring. How on earth did they think a move like this would work against the ABs? And why are our players happy to execute this rubbish? Was it a good move executed at the wrong time or was it always doomed to failure?
    I’m all for a separation of power between the coaches and the players but if there was ever a game plan that required a mutinous action by the players it was Saturday’s. And if they are again happy to execute such rubbish this Saturday then Wallaby pride is truly dead. And to get me talking about such things as “pride” means I’m truly despondent about the state of things.

  • Robson

    Thanks Scott, that has given me some much needed clarity and erased some bad thoughts I was having about Genia. I owe him an apology.

    So Genia was (mostly) not at fault, but FFS there was something very faulty about it. What in God’s name do they think the opposition are doing while they are busy re arranging their forwards like pawns on a chess board?

    These tactics are truly cretinous and if they are part of the master game plan we really would be much better off without any strategies at all.

    Hopeless, deadening garbage. I’ve known for four years that Robbie Deans wasn’t an international coach, but hell I didn’t know how bad he really is.

  • Is it just me or has RD basically now got to the point where hes taken any “play whats in front of you” actually out of his plans and is now relying on this pre scripted “safe” play to laboriously work the ball downfield and starve the ABs of posession.

    Trouble still is when we go wide we stuff it up anyway. Our outside backs get turned over too regularly and we’re not breaking the line in the middle or causijng any confusion in the defence as Barnes is too static and doesnt threaten the line by himself.

    I guess that I’d say, this tactic of Deans’ is falling over due to execution/selection. Rev up the forwards and bring Cooper back in and maybe that will work better.

  • In the centres

    Agree with that as well. I would rather see us lose having a red hot go, trying everything and failing than going out with another whimper and fresh powder not used. Pride to Pull on the Wallaby Jersey and focus on Winning Test Matches instead of my next marketing move. No more bullshit about personal marketing, personal brand, vitamin adds or half naked pistons in oil adverts. Its all bullshit unless we are a winning National Team.

    Yes its easy being an armchair critic but its also pretty obvious that something is broken. Just ask around, ask your rugby mates and everyone has the same comment or lament.

    I was once told that the player the AB’s truly hated to play against (of all Wallabys) was Tony Shaw. Why – because he was at them all the time in every way he could to make a nuisance of himself, make them feel uncomfortable, get in their face, make them pay in every ruck, scrum and maul. Get him in to talk to the troops if he will; anything to motivate these guys.

    Its time to lose all the bullshit, soft cock approach to interviews; looking good and paid commentators offering lame excuses as well. If we did this….. or played that …….or weve learned our lesson and will be better next time or some other lame crap. How about working together and playing together and putting an All Black jumper on a tackling bag and ruck the friggin thing to pieces. Where’s the mongrel?

    Come on guys – show us what you really have at Eden Park. And while I’m at it – bring back afternoon Tests with a dry ball so we see the best of running and attacking rugby.

    Enough is enough already.

  • Bruwheresmycar

    Nice analysis. Always interesting.

  • Glenn Condell

    Doesn’t all this depend on where the ball is? I mean, you say ‘the ball delivered from the time it’s clear of the ruck’ so you are only looking at the ball once it has arrived at the halfback’s feet.

    What is driving me batty is not so much Genia fooling around once it has been delivered to him, it is the fact that it takes an age to BE DELIVERED! It is that second or two before it has cleared, where McCaw and his henchmen seem able to slow us down in a way that we can’t seem to manage with their ruck ball. They have better leg drive in contact and body height is lower too, both of which might explain a bit. We tend to get the ball locked up in between bodies and they don’t.

    Jeez I hope they get some mongrel into them on Saturday. The players looked a little too relaxed and matey with the Blacks after the game I thought. Not hurting enough.

    I remember Allan Border’s conversion from Mr Nice Guy to Prickly Grump in 89 and how old mates like Gower and Beefy were surprised to find themselves on the outer until the series was well and truly won. Single-minded, angry with past form and utterly determined to win taking no prisoners at all.

    The players should keep mum from tomorrow and put their heads down until the haka which should be stared down politely. When the whistle blows they should have worked themselves into the sort of winning lather McEnroe used to bring on to hone his form.

  • Bobas

    Slow playing not only is a bad tactic in terms of it lack of results but also allows the opposition respite and lets them know that you’re not as fit as they are.

  • maxdacat

    Excellent analysis!

    Worth noting at 1 min 30 where Timani is at the base of the ruck 5m out from the line. Does he:

    A – pick and go quickly to the right while the gap is there, or;

    B – wait until the Black defence can regroup and has time to close the gap?

    answers please!

  • tigerland12

    Mr Allen can you be the Wallabies coach please?

  • Captain & Tennile

    Great analysis – and confirms what a team will play with when under pressure – and revert to their comfort zone. But this is what you get with your selections….

    Static pods have no place when trying to stretch defences – league proves this every weekend.
    Quick ball being run at speed with support and movement will win every time – the AB’s prove it and every team in the history of rugby that could score a try proved that.
    Get rid of static, negative play – pick and drive, secure and spin.
    It looked like on the weekend these guys had not spent any ttime together other than reseting their line and just plan hands in the backs.And like most backs thinking up names fo heir moves an talking about feelings…
    No depth, not at speed and no sense of purpose.
    Robbie doesn’t drop the ball or miss the tackle and the rhetoric and language needs to change. And please, please shut up befor a game! Let your game do te talking.
    Where is the hunger? Picking blokes up and patting them on the arse…please you are playing rugby. Playthe game hard and fair and have a beer afterwards. These guys are too pally and not hungry.
    Robbie play sme old State of Origin matches or better still tests from the 70’s and 80’s and these guys will realise what and who the are playingfor.
    I can hack loosing to a better team and by Christ we were lucky they were off ther game, or it cou have been worse – but as long as the boys put in…we shoul support them

  • Armchair Sportsfan

    Currently watching the game again (its just as painful on replay) with this great analysis in mind, and I gotta say that reason the ball ‘SEEMS’ slower than what Scott’s analysis suggests has much more to do with the time taken from when the ball carrier is tackled to when it is presented at the back of the ruck (Glen Condell makes this point above).

    There seems to be a huge amount of rucks where it is an AGE between the man going down and when Genia can even access the ball, not only does it allow the Blacks defence time to form, the fact that its such a slow forward momentum over the ball, means that the defence is not going backward at all by the time the ball is presented…but sitting on their toes rather than on their heels

  • Garry


    Last weeks game plan? Was there anything discernible?

    I saw “run it from any where” which the surprise of which worked initially, and then the predictability became a liability.

    What did you find?

  • baz

    Until the Wallys become a physically dominant team they req 1 sec rucks (aka Reds wen on song). Ball carriers must TOTALLY commit to quick and accurate ball presentation, NOT gaining an extra half metre and producing a slow ruck that soaks up support players to win. For examples watch McCabe and Harris. Obsession with the gainline against bigger stronger opposites doesn’t work. It just produces slow rucks and allows defence more time to reset. To beat the AB’s and even Boks, Oz must play faster than defence can reorganise and use Genia and Coopers best in the world “play wot u see” talents to breach defences

  • Harden up

    Wow, our forwards look slow and unfit.

  • cole

    there’s a new ruling in the ITM cup in NZ …it’s called the 5 second rule..you have 5 seconds to clear the ball from the base of any ruck or maul or you lose it to the opposing side..makes for a more attacking oriented game ..ball stays alive alot longer which means players fitness is a must …just saying..


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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    Monday’s Rugby News recaps an exciting round of club rugby, Irae Simone ready to jump at a...

  • Friday’s Rugby News

    Friday’s Rugby News sees a Game of To Knee or Not to Knee,  Someone Doing Exactly What They...