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Flair v Power in 4Ns

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nganboy
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Post by englandglory4ever Mon 20 Aug 2012, 11:12 am

Having watched the 2 games on Sat its clear that the two power teams won and the 2 flair teams lost.

Aus will take any team apart if their dancing backs get any space. They didn't and were pretty well nullified. I'd make an easy prediction. - That Aus team would never ever beat that NZ team. They just haven't got the firepower.

Moving on to the SA game. The Argentinians showed a lot of good passing and running skills but when they inevitably came in to contact they were dumped backwards several yards with consummate ease. They just could not gain ground despite having the ball for lengthy periods of time. Conclusion - That Pumas side would never ever beat that SA side.

The real contest for the top spot will come between NZ and SA. The 'power equation' will be broadly equal but the determination of the NZ side is likely to prevail quite easily in the end.

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Post by disneychilly Mon 20 Aug 2012, 11:21 am

Aussie are masters of living off scraps though-their backs are so good that they can still score tries with a backpedalling pack.

Hope we get to see Argentina release Hernandez et al once their pack gets them quality ball.

Argentina are very much a power side-in fact more so than flair-so that will be worrying to them.

NZ's backs are as good as Australias so the flair was on both sides. The game was rubbish though and so many errors from both sides cut out said flair and meant NZ's forward ascendancy was crucial. However the first try was a thing of beauty off first phase (Dagg should have passed inside though).

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Post by englandglory4ever Mon 20 Aug 2012, 11:30 am

"Argentina are very much a power side-in fact more so than flair-so that will be worrying to them."

The Pumas pack has be known for its power for some time now. Several years in fact. However, their backs have not. They are lightweight but have good skills and are quick. Trouble was, they found themselves being picked up and thrown backwards with ease. I predict the Pumas and Aus will fight it out for 3rd place.

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Post by kiakahaaotearoa Mon 20 Aug 2012, 11:31 am

Argentina a flair side? Hmm, their forwards did get a lot of ball but it's clear how their backline moves were cut off or wrong options taken with overlaps that they are not a flair side. Their strength is their set piece and defence and they will have to learn how to attack with pace and do so with more variety. Their backs stand to learn the most being involved in this competition but no way in hell can they be described as a flair team.

The Aussies showed in the game that when they did hang on to the ball and got a few phases going they were able to trouble the ABs. But they never got any continuity and their ball was far too static. Some of that you can lay at the foot of the pack but too often they shot themselves in the foot with atrocious handling.

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Post by ScarletSpiderman Mon 20 Aug 2012, 11:34 am

kiakahaaotearoa wrote:Argentina a flair side? Hmm, their forwards did get a lot of ball but it's clear how their backline moves were cut off or wrong options taken with overlaps that they are not a flair side. Their strength is their set piece and defence and they will have to learn how to attack with pace and do so with more variety. Their backs stand to learn the most being involved in this competition but no way in hell can they be described as a flair team.

The Aussies showed in the game that when they did hang on to the ball and got a few phases going they were able to trouble the ABs. But they never got any continuity and their ball was far too static. Some of that you can lay at the foot of the pack but too often they shot themselves in the foot with atrocious handling.

Same could be said about the All Blacks being a 'power' side and not flair.
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Post by kiakahaaotearoa Mon 20 Aug 2012, 11:38 am

I think they're a nice blend of both Scarlet. Truth is only Australia is capable of playing flair without power. If NZ doesn't get front foot ball and space, our flair vanishes. Australia are used to living off scraps as disney said. But NZ needs bite in their pack to do it. That's why Romano and Messam are being picked for their aggression in the tackle and ball in hand.

French, the founders of flair, have forgotten how to play with flair. They just have power now and to me it's incredible with the platform they have with their monster forwards and brutal defence, how conservative and ineffectual their backline is.

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Post by ScarletSpiderman Mon 20 Aug 2012, 11:42 am

kiakahaoteara - yeah I guess I had never though of it like that. I guess Argentina are more or less developing that ballence too, as their backs are pretty classy, but their pack are just brutes.
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Post by disneychilly Mon 20 Aug 2012, 11:48 am

Agree Kia. I think our backs have as much flair as Australia's. They're not used to playing behind the advantage line like the Aussies though so wouldn't be as skilled in terms of coping and creating with less space. But you can't tell me Dagg SBW Jane Cruden and Carter don't have any flair.

The French and NZ both place huge emphasis on support play, that's how Les Bleus score a lot of their best tries. But it seems to have been coached out of them. I know they can knock out the very best teams with their approach but look at 94 and they were a gold watch earning decision away from a final in 95. I love watching an inspired French team as much as it scares me when they play us, but I'd rather watch inspired French attack than Dusautoir making 3000 tackles in a half. If they get the mix right-and their heads right-ah but we always say that.

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Post by kiakahaaotearoa Mon 20 Aug 2012, 11:53 am

I believe with such a solid forward platform, the improvement from Argentina will come in their backs. Their forwards are already world class. What they need is some invention and practice at playing with pace and learning the awareness of space.

They are definitely behind the 3N teams in that area but I think they will be quick learners. Give them time but they stand to gain the most from their defeats in this comp.

The annoying thing for me is that they have the players (scary depth) to play like that. I thought the silky PSA would bring that back but was horrified to see a continuation of Lievremont's conservative tactics. Test rugby can be won with tight defence and taking scoring opportunities but so too can it be won by blending that with a willingness to find space and use a numbers advantage. Like you say, this seems to have been entirely discarded as an option. I'm not saying France should be playing so called basketball rugby but they are denying themselves a highly effective attacking weapon. To me it's inexcusable. They only seem to use it against the minnows. But how glorious it is to see them play like that when they choose to do so.

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Post by Biltong Mon 20 Aug 2012, 11:54 am

I don't see the all Blacks as a flair side, I see them more as a team with the best balance between forward power and skilled backs, they have talented individuals who play well within a structure but their individual ability to spot the opportunity is what makes them so devastatingly good.

I see OZ as the side with flair, their backs don't need structure to run you ragged, but if you kill their ball at source they struggle.

The argentines have always had strong forwards and their backs always had a willingness to run, however they need more talented and speed in their backline, and they don't seemt o have the ability to read the defence well enough to outfox them.

SA as we all know play within a structure but currently doesn't have the talent in the back line to recognise opportunities.

It can be simple things like setting up the pod in channel one, but instead of hitting the line, just pass the ball immediately to the outside after you drew the defence, usually these pods attrack more than one defender and leaves a gaping hole which we don't exploit.

The biggest difference between these teams are that NZ players have strucutre but can see opportunities, SA cannot, Argentina needs better players that can also play with more vision.

OZ as indivduals have the most devastating runners that can singlehandedly beat a team, but they get stifled becasue of their forwards.

One thing that did please me was the strnegth of the BOk scrum against the much vaunted Argentinina scrum.
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Post by disneychilly Mon 20 Aug 2012, 12:06 pm

I see the Aussie backs as playing with the highest precision in world rugby. The best passers of the ball and best exploiters of space and running lines. In terms of ad lib footy I rate both NZ and Aussie's players. I think it is so critical to Australia's cause and by far the most obvious danger that they are said to have more flair than NZ who have more in their arsenal to focus on.

IMO every team has strengths and weaknesses but NZ are the best team at present because we can play every approach bloody well-we have the physicality to mix it and the pace/skill to break it down. We are usually good enough to absorb what teams throw at us then versatile enough to play in a way that targets opposition weaknesses.

SA are the most physical side in the world-so it's no surprise to me that they can dominate Argentina by overcoming Argentina's strength-but are skilled enough to play at a frenzied pace. It's just they don't play as expansively and as abd-libbed. Once they have more creativity in their backline playing at said frenzied pace then we had all better look out.

Argentina will be really competitive in the autumn I feel. Consistent exposure to the pace of the other three will make it easier to adapt to the slower paces of the NH attacks.

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Post by Taylorman Mon 20 Aug 2012, 9:04 pm

Congrats gents...one of the most intelligent posts on the subject I've seen for some time. There are some smart thinking rugby minds on this site that's for sure. thumbsup

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Post by Morgannwg Tue 21 Aug 2012, 9:54 am

So what are the England team? Because I see neither flair nor power when they play. Which '4-nation' do you think England should be emulating in the forseeable future this week engglory4eva?
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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) Tue 21 Aug 2012, 9:58 am

Morgannwg wrote:So what are the England team? Because I see neither flair nor power when they play. Which '4-nation' do you think England should be emulating in the forseeable future this week engglory4eva?

I didn't know England played in the 4Nations Whistle

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Post by Morgannwg Tue 21 Aug 2012, 10:03 am

Sorry, I wasn't very clear. 'This week' refers to the radical theories that Engglory4eva types out each week. I'm wondering which team he thinks England should try to mirror, before changing his mind the following week. It was only a few posts ago he suggested a Matt Banahan XV was the future for English rugby...
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Post by emack2 Tue 21 Aug 2012, 12:03 pm

Rugby is about stucture first at test level ALL selected should be able to do the basics right.Forwards especially tight forwards need to be selected for the core skills.Hookers hook,throw in accurately to the lineout,help clean out rucks/mauls then be the 4th loose forwards.Props Scrummage,lineout support work,do the tough yards at maul/ruck.etc.Loose forwards should do there work in the tight as well as the loose forward stuff.Scrum half is the most important back a quick pass is ideal.,seldom achieved a quick break round the fringes,tactical kick and so on.Tight forwards allow the loose forwards to roam nowadays do it them selves.Flair players more often than not are a liabilty UNLESS they do the basics first well.The All Blacks are by tradition a power pack,like the Boks forwards provide front foot ball what happens then is down to the backs.Australia have usually good Line out,.loose forwards and flair backs there Scrum has seldom been good.BUT the modern way of setting allows them to disguise it.The Laws are in the Book the same for both Hemispheres all you ask is the officials apply them.For BOTH sides EXACTLY as written the problem is often the IRB want to fiddle with them.You get variations they decide to trial in certain Tournaments or hemisphers but seldom at the same time.Result the Ref may produce a pedantic whistle happy match because he has been directed to do it that way.THE Best teams should be able to play any gameplan and have the flexibilty to adjust.Last Saturday despite all the recriminations. On two occassions the Wallabies went for tap penalties when 3 was the sensible option,that would have meant the ABs chasing the win at the death.A whole different ball game,also of course when injuries deny you your best flair players?

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Post by anotherworldofpain Tue 21 Aug 2012, 8:14 pm

disneychilly wrote:Aussie are masters of living off scraps though-their backs are so good that they can still score tries with a backpedalling pack.

Hope we get to see Argentina release Hernandez et al once their pack gets them quality ball.

Argentina are very much a power side-in fact more so than flair-so that will be worrying to them.

NZ's backs are as good as Australias so the flair was on both sides. The game was rubbish though and so many errors from both sides cut out said flair and meant NZ's forward ascendancy was crucial. However the first try was a thing of beauty off first phase (Dagg should have passed inside though).

I've heard a lot of "the game was rubbish because of bad handling" about Beldisloe #1. I put it down to two factors:

(1) Australia chose to line the mid field with forwards, mostly their back row to try to get penetration through the center. It only worked once and then the player drop the ball. The rest of the time it didn't work at all because they just don't have the ball skills in the back row and locks to executing that plan. The passing was laboured and NZ shut down the space with a new rush defensive idea.
(2) Nonu/SBW didn't work. The NZ backline only had cohesion when the ball went wide quickly and then most of the time NZ were shut down and put to touch except for two excellent set piece tries. NZ tried route 1 like last year and two years ago, but without Thorne and Kaino this plan was not so successful.

This was not a high point for flair, but the OP is right that NZ was better in the power game. I think so after watching this game they will struggle in SA and Argentina.

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Post by emack2 Tue 21 Aug 2012, 8:52 pm

AWOP it is ingenuos to expect a Pack that has lost the worlds best 4,and 6,plus one of the most experienced 15`s.To just put on a massive display just like that a 4 with one cap,and a 6 with just 10 starts in 5 years were hardly just going to take over.For a first up outing with no real training time together the pack went well.Australia as you said packed the mid field with forwards to counter a threat that was`nt there .Nonu/SBW there role was mainly defensive or as decoys not offensive.Bad handling on both sides was down as much due to the stop /start nature and aggresive defence.Pocock touted as the worlds best 7 was taken out of the equation. Scrum was just a matter of who Rolland thought was at it and seemed just guess work.IF injuries don`t cause problems expect a more complete forward performance by both sides later in the tournament.The flair thing does`nt come into it 12/13 with more varied skills will create tries.Woodcock seems a precaution with 3 weeks before Argentina,Crockett is a more than able replacement.The Crusaders Front 5 minus Corey Fynn should be more than adquate and indeed bonus maybe they know each others game.

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Post by Taylorman Tue 21 Aug 2012, 9:24 pm

AWOP we always struggle in SA and Argentina so thats nothing new. All three will struggle in NZ. The whole thing is one big struggle.

Injuries to key players and one away win puts NZ firmly in the box seat for this competition.

Deans is all over the place with his players availability and selections. Highlighted on Reunion last night he picked a backline to contain and they throw it all over the place. he picked a bunch of low performing Warratahs players.

Who knows what he'll do for Auckland. And this is a man who set the one goal for this year immediately after the world cup. Sorry but the tournament will only have one order to it:

NZ
SA

Aus
Arg

The only change to the above order will be if Oz continue to spiral downward and Argie smell blood from the Oz performances.

NZ and SA have started rustily but at least they have good coaching and structure- and won when playing average to poorly. SA seem to have this knack of easing off after half time (either a sign of fitness or complacency- either of which is bad) and NZ need to get combinations going. Youre right about Nonu and SBW but C Smith will be back so we only need get through Auckland.


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Post by englandglory4ever Wed 22 Aug 2012, 6:39 pm

Morgannwg wrote:Sorry, I wasn't very clear. 'This week' refers to the radical theories that Engglory4eva types out each week. I'm wondering which team he thinks England should try to mirror, before changing his mind the following week. It was only a few posts ago he suggested a Matt Banahan XV was the future for English rugby...

You'd be OK morgan if you could see beyond your nose. But you evidently can't.

Anybody who has read a couple of my posts will know that I prefer the power game for test rugby. Seeing nippy tiddlers like Flutey and Tait run out for England made me want to spit blood. Where are they now? They certainly failed IMO.

And Yes, in line with what I always like I did want to see Banahan succeed. He is still young, big and was one of the top AP try scorers at the time so why not? Nothing out of line there. Trouble is he did not take his chances with England. It still does not diminish my wish to see England fielding a side known for its power across the squad. There will be others I hope.

So why you are 'wondering' is a little strange really. Try putting 2 and 2 together to make 4 in future.


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Post by Biltong Wed 22 Aug 2012, 6:57 pm

Can we keep the personal attacks out of the debate please gents.
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Post by Rory_Gallagher Wed 22 Aug 2012, 8:00 pm

I thought each of the centre partnerships in the RC were chosen for their size/power, rather than their attacking guile and flair. I also thought each of them were very average. They clearly lacked balance.

There needs to be a good balance of both power and flair. Some talented guys have both.

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Post by nganboy Thu 23 Aug 2012, 2:19 am

The NZ and Aus centre partnerships were forced on them due to injury.
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Post by Taylorman Thu 23 Aug 2012, 4:23 am

Rory_Gallagher wrote:I thought each of the centre partnerships in the RC were chosen for their size/power, rather than their attacking guile and flair. I also thought each of them were very average. They clearly lacked balance.

There needs to be a good balance of both power and flair. Some talented guys have both.

I agree but have another look this Saturday. I think they'll have ironed out a thing or two by then...

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Post by drsambo1928 Thu 23 Aug 2012, 10:49 pm

Well its mostly the case that power teams beat flair teams simply because they grab hold of them and squeeze them into submission, the teams who can beat power teams need an element of power themselves like when the All Blacks beat South Africa after the Springboks won the previous Tri nations and were briefly the best team in the world.

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Post by Taylorman Thu 23 Aug 2012, 11:53 pm

Have to agree with that drs. The rules at the time also assisted power teams as opposed to flair teams. The rules then also meant it was better not to have the ball.

How flair will ever beat anyone without the ball beats me. Power did it easily.

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Post by Morgannwg Fri 24 Aug 2012, 12:13 am

Flutey was Englands best backline player for over a decade. He was just injury prone. engglory4eva can't even see past Matt Banahan (probs because Matt is tall and Engglory is small....).
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Post by Rory_Gallagher Fri 24 Aug 2012, 2:44 am

I'm not sure Matt Banahan is the best example.. especially when someone a foot smaller and about 5 stone lighter manages to stop him 5 metres out..

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Post by drsambo1928 Fri 24 Aug 2012, 2:42 pm

Rory_Gallagher wrote:I'm not sure Matt Banahan is the best example.. especially when someone a foot smaller and about 5 stone lighter manages to stop him 5 metres out..

Yeah, I couldn't stop laughing at that, all he had to do was change his angle slightly and he woulda scored.

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Post by gregortree Fri 24 Aug 2012, 4:27 pm

Re: Banahan. Yes the tackle by little Shane was a toe curling moment for an English fan. I was not a fan of B either, but I saw Bananaman in the 7s at Kingsholm and he displayed a great combo of 'holding up' grit plus distribution nous, which despite myself, found myself admiring. Ok this was club 7s but he showed a more skilful side I had not expected. Back to the OP - yes both.

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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) Sat 25 Aug 2012, 9:13 am

Sigh. Morgan and Eg4, get a room will you.
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Post by maestegmafia Tue 28 Aug 2012, 1:32 pm

With the low try count seen in the first two rounds what are your thoughts on flare vs power now?

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Post by Biltong Tue 28 Aug 2012, 1:45 pm

maestegmafia wrote:With the low try count seen in the first two rounds what are your thoughts on flare vs power now?
To be honest not much difference between the two.
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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) Tue 28 Aug 2012, 1:50 pm

Biltong wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:With the low try count seen in the first two rounds what are your thoughts on flare vs power now?
To be honest not much difference between the two.

The Aussies didn't show any flair, the Kiwis kept dropping the ball (26 turnovers ffs), and SA vs Arg turned into Power vs Power.
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Post by profitius Tue 28 Aug 2012, 2:47 pm

I would describe Argentina as being defensive with a good spoiling game. South Africa as being a powerful team. Wallabies as having flair (traditionally) and NZ as being good all rounders.
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