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The breakdown

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LondonTiger
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Post by Geordie Wed 26 Nov 2014, 10:45 pm

Simple discussion:
Are some teams better because :

1) They have a genuine top fetching 7?
2) Better drilled pack and tactics
3) More intelligent/ experienced players knowing when not to compete and when to really go for it.
4) All of the above

What is it that makes the SH teams so good in this department

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Post by Biltong Wed 26 Nov 2014, 10:50 pm

I don't think the SH is all that good at the breakdown.

Yes NZ has Richie McCaw. But on the evidence I have seen this month I think the NH is ahead of us.
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Post by Geordie Thu 27 Nov 2014, 8:14 am

Do you think so Bilts?

Are you refering to Ireland, Wales and Scotland? As i wouldnt put England in that category.

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Post by Biltong Thu 27 Nov 2014, 8:21 am

Geordiefalcon, from what I have seen Ireland in specific stand out, the use the defensive ruck as an offensive defence.

Just look at what they did against SA, we had 60% of ball and territory, yet struggled to get clean ball or quick ball.

Ireland uses a number of methods at the breakdown, much like Richie McCaw has been a thorn in the side of teams by flirting on the edge of legal lines, Ireland has done that against us, but not as individuals but rather as a collective.

I liken it to a ball carrier being attacked by a pack of wolves, one is grabbing your arm, two more bite at your heels, another is chomping on your arse and you completely miss the one kicking the ball through.

I haven't watched Wales yet as the games overlapped, but will look at them this weekend.
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Post by LondonTiger Thu 27 Nov 2014, 8:23 am

GF - are you referring solely to securing turnovers, or to the breakdown in it's entirety?

England have been rubbish at securing turnover ball, but so far pretty good at slowing down opposition ball and not too shabby at generating quick ball (at least compared to years gone by).

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Post by HammerofThunor Thu 27 Nov 2014, 8:27 am

Ireland are probably the best in the NH at breakdown work and they don't tend to use a '7' in the traditional sense. They all commit and work in this area. Slight aside but wasn't BOD one of their biggest winner of turnovers? (Possibly because of the number of caps he got)

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Post by Geordie Thu 27 Nov 2014, 9:16 am

LT, A bit of Both mate.

Turnovers and the breakdown itself.

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Post by Bathman_in_London Thu 27 Nov 2014, 9:25 am

From you list I think a combination of 2 and 3 are the most important. The best teams seem to know when to really attack a breakdown to either secure a turnover or slow the ball right down and when to fan out and focus on winning the next tackle.

Work rate is a big part of being strong at the breakdown but I do think rugby nous plays a big part as well, especially working out how much flopping over the top you can get away with and other rule bends.

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Post by LondonTiger Thu 27 Nov 2014, 9:29 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:LT, A bit of Both mate.

Turnovers and the breakdown itself.

Not sure we have been outplayed by NZ or SA at the breakdown. NZ was (hate to say it) a game of two halves. We had the upper hand at the breakdown in the first half, won quick ball and should have scored more points. Second half they slowed down our ball and we kicked really badly.

Against SA I cannot remember the breakdown as being an issue, in general we secured decent ball and delayed theirs.

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Post by Geordie Thu 27 Nov 2014, 9:46 am

Yeah i guess your right LT.

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Post by offload Thu 27 Nov 2014, 9:52 am

This is probably a bit of a generalisation, but I don't see the breakdown as the real point of difference between NH and SH any more. NH teams get turned over more, usually because a player has found himself isolated, either because he's scrambling without support, made a poor decision or has run away from support.

The more important differences for me are basic skill, decision making, executing opportunities, composure and a collective belief that they will win.
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Post by LondonTiger Thu 27 Nov 2014, 9:56 am

offload wrote:This is probably a bit of a generalisation, but I don't see the breakdown as the real point of difference between NH and SH any more.  NH teams get turned over more, usually because a player has found himself isolated, either because he's scrambling without support, made a poor decision or has run away from support.

The more important differences for me are basic skill, decision making, executing opportunities, composure and a collective belief that they will win.

Agreed.

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Post by blackcanelion Thu 27 Nov 2014, 10:07 am

My take is as per usual there's a difference in how the game is refereed. The SH teams haven't adapted to NH teams and some cases refs. We see the similar issues one way or another each summer/autumn.

From my perspective. It's still a case of pancakes on the ground. Essentially we play a game where the tackler has to release the ball carrier much quicker and roll away. The second issue is I think there's a greater emphasis on staying on your feet  in the ruck and not bridging in super rugby. I think there's less tolerance for offside adjacent or behind the ruck down south. Lastly, I think there is more recognition when a ruck is unformed in the SH What it adds up to in my opinion is pancakes. More players lying around in rucks, pulling others in and off their feet. Players hanging around the fringes, and defensive lines that could only politely be called flat.

As a result counter rucking is more difficult, quick ball is harder to get, and players get hit hard behind or on the advantage line. I think that's where a lot of turn overs have happened.

I think it'll will be the same next year. If I was Meyer, I'd be looking for a strong set piece, blitz defense and a world class box kicker. I don't think any coach has excuses next year. I think this is what we'll get come next September.


Last edited by blackcanelion on Thu 27 Nov 2014, 12:43 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Biltong Thu 27 Nov 2014, 10:26 am

blackcanelion wrote:My take is as per usual there's a difference in how the game is refereed. The SH teams haven't adapted to NH teams and some cases refs. We see the similar issues one way or another each summer/autumn.

From a my perspective. It's still a case of pancakes on the ground. Essentially we play a game where the tackler has to release the ball carrier much quicker and roll away. The second issue is I think there's a greater emphasis on staying on your feet  in the ruck and not bridging. I think there's less tolerance for offside adjacent or behind the ruck down south. Lastly, I think there more recognition when a ruck is unformed. What it adds up to in my opinion is pancakes. More players lying around in rucks, pulling others in and off their feet. Players hanging around the fringes, and defensive lines that could only politely be called flat.

As a result counter rucking is more difficult, quick ball is harder to get, and players get hit hard behind or on the advantage line. I think that's where a lot of turn overs have happened.

I think it'll will be the same next year. If I was Meyer, I'd be looking for a strong set piece, blitz defense and a world class box kicker. I don't think any coach has excuses next year. I think this is what we'll get come next September.


Good post mate, very well explained.
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