What to make of the Wallabies aimless kicking against Ireland?
I’m not sure of the origins of the expression but I thought the Irish commentator summed up the Wallabies kicking performance pretty well last weekend when he said “That one will be Meat and Drink to Rob Kearney” as the Wallabies sent another ball straight to a waiting Irish player without exerting any pressure.
In putting the video together I wasn’t looking to analyse whether we should have kicked – that’s probably a separate discussion on the game plan (although if I was having that discussion I’d say we kicked the ball away far too often when we were in a good position to attack). What I did want to look at was, having made the decision to kick, how well did we do it? It’s painful to watch but maybe Robbie should give it to the players for homework to ram home how poor their execution was.
[youtube id=”iWCT7-ffnvE” width=”600″ height=”350″]
Twenty kicks in the first half and sixteen in the second half. Here’s how I saw the results based on whether the ball was caught on the full by Ireland or not, and if not, whether it was a good or poor result.
|1st Half||Pressure on Irish Catcher||No Pressure on Irish Catcher||Good Result||Poor Result|
|Kicks Caught On The Full By Ireland||2||10|
|Kicks Finding Touch||4||2|
|Kicks Finding The Ground||1||1|
|2nd Half||Pressure on Irish Catcher||No Pressure on Irish Catcher||Good Result||Poor Result|
|Kicks Caught On The Full By Ireland||3||3|
|Kicks Finding Touch||1|
|Kicks Finding The Ground||9|
There’s no BBQ meat tray as the prize for guessing who kicked the most aimless balls to Irish players standing in position – Cooper kicked for 19 of the 36 kicks in the game and some of his long high kicks were just pointless.
The biggest issue for me was kicking the ball to land where Irish players were waiting to catch the ball under no pressure and return it (normally with interest). This is just giving the opposition free ball to work with.
This must have been discussed at half time as you can see the noticeable difference in the number of second half kicks the Wallabies were getting on the ground or with less depth so the chasers could pressure the catcher.
Overall, the Wallabies kicking game let them down and there is room for massive improvement.