Go Forward and Dominate Posted over 4 years ago

Photo: The Rugby Site

Go Forward and Dominate

20 minutes into the game. Saracens had 10 possessions, Racing 13 – Saracens 0.

It’s a simple way of looking at the game I know. Yet so effective. How many possessions did we have, what were the outcomes of those possessions? Were they positive for us, if so why? Were they not so positive for us, if so why? Then the drilling down takes place.

Possession 1 – They Box kick (in traditional fashion), a Finn Russell Linebreak leads to an infringement and an opportunity for 3 points for Racing.

Possession 2 – Restart 22, Sarries breached on the edge, another Penalty infringement – Racing 3 points up.

Possession 3 – Kick Receipt – another box kick after 2 phases

Possession 4 – Kick Receipt, possession kicked back by Sarries – Penalty infringement (Deliberate Knock Down)

Possession 5 – Lost Lineout – TRY

Possession 6 – Lost Lineout – Loss of Possession.

Possession 7 – Lost Lineout – Loss of Possession.

Possession 8 – The first time they are able to string multiple phases together and they turn it over by hitting an isolated runner.

Possession 9 – Scrum – Kicked away.

Possession 10 – Penalty for crossing (which ended up in 3 points after Racing Lineout).

If we look at one of the main Principles of Play in the game which applies to both sides of the ball. One in which Sarries struggled. GO FORWARD!!

In these 10 possessions in the first 20 mins. They kicked away 4 (and didn’t regain any) and Lost 3 Lineouts. So not only did they not give themselves a chance to go forward and build momentum, they gave possession back to Racing and didn’t go forward by winning collisions on defence. Allowing Racing’s super talented ball carriers and back line time and space to work their magic.

On Defence:

Teams these days get 2 into the tackle contest however, if they don’t win the collision and the attacking team get quick ball, there are 2 defenders off their feet and out of the game. Sarries frequently had 3 and still Racing played off quick ball.

Leading up to their first try off a stolen lineout. Ben Earl raced up for the big hit but lost the collision, then Sarries guilty of all looking into the ruck instead of the old 80/20 rule (80 % focus
on ball, 20 % on man so your head is on a swivel). Any good back will spot this in a defensive line, Vakatawa proved it!!

On Attack:

With the only real possession Sarries managed to hold onto the ball for, they started to GO FOWARD, they won collisions, the ball was quick, they had Racing on the ropes. Only for their attacking options to run out, hit an isolated ball carrier in yellow, here in Red we see the player who needed to be inside cleaner, slow to react.

Resulting in a turnover for Racing. Their 1 attacking possession in the 1st 20mins finished!!

In Summary:

We know in any game a good start is KEY and playing Racing, in Paris (when they haven’t performed in the Top 14 so far), Sarries would have known they would come out firing.

If you need to change momentum when things aren’t going your way the old adage applies – Try to KEEP it SIMPLE and go back to basics. For example:

On attack, use a simple line out which generates some GO FORWARD and win collisions on the carries to generate quick ball.

On Defence, get off the ground quickly, know who you are and who you are marking in the system and use leg drive in the tackle contest to win collisions to slow down the ball.

These are a few things I’m sure Sarries will look at this week after receiving a lesson in them by Racing. They had a tough day at the office perhaps, but the experience gained for the younger generation of Sarries players was invaluable.

The Rugby site is the only online coaching resource to offer a truly global perspective, subscribe for 12 months – now at a lower price point.

Enter your email address to continue reading

We frequently post interesting articles and comment from our world class content providers so please provide us with your email address and we will notify you when new articles are available.

We'll also get in touch with various news and updates that we think will interest you. We promise to not spam, sell, or otherwise abuse your address (you can unsubscribe at any time).

See all Coaches Corner videos


comments powered by Disqus

Alistair Rogers, Assistant Coach for Manu Samoa in their recent Rugby World Cup campaign, moved to New Zealand over 20 years ago to follow his passion for the game and learn from the best. Originally a professional player himself, Alistair spent 8 years as the All Blacks Analyst as part of their coaching team during one of the most successful periods in All Black history. Following record breaking back to back World Cup success, he returned to Super Rugby as Defence Coach for The Blues in Auckland which he masterminded a historic win v British and Irish Lions. From the Blues, Alistair worked in New Zealand Rugby’s High Performance unit as a High Performance Coach. Previously Alistair has enjoyed coaching stints with Wellington Hurricanes (Super Rugby) and Honda Heat (Japan).

Topic Coaches Corner
Applicable to Coaches   Players   Others   Supporters and fans  

Related articles

How to work the latest gadget play in short-range attack

One of the latest trial laws insists that it will no longer be possible to choose a scrum from a free-kick. Nick Bishop looks at what innovations may result especially close to opposition’s goal line.

How to apply R & R at the attacking breakdown

When things do not always work out as planned at the modern breakdown you need to apply some R&R.
Nick Bishop explains what type of R&R is needed in this week’s analysis.

How to cut the corner at cleanout time – using the ‘side window’

The first cleanout support player is a critical decision-maker as Laurie Fisher points out in his Breakdown Attack series.

Nick Bishop details when successfully deployed this technique can often lead to concrete attacking opportunities. (at all levels)

How to cover the attacking breakdown

The premium on excellent skills at the breakdown is becoming more important, especially for a club with a positive ball-in-hand mindset.
As Nick Bishop illustrates using the resurgent Queensland Reds as an example.

How England upset Ireland’s Grand Slam plans at Twickenham

Nick Bishop details the key ingredient that led to England’s upset 6N win over 6 to 1 favourite and Grand Slam-elect Ireland.