Fast ball the key to beating Springboks
Wallabies Will Genia passes from a scrum. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
Tomorrow night’s clash in the west looms as a real danger match for the men in gold. If they lose, then Australian rugby will officially be in serious trouble.
The Wallabies have failed in recent times, especially against the All Blacks, to surpass the gain line in attack. The fundamental reason for this is the speed of their ball in attack, or rather, the lack thereof.
For some time, the All Blacks have successfully used a super-zealous approach in defence. They’re practically offside (unsurprisingly, Richie McCaw is particularly adept at this).
The incessant pressure in defence strangles opposition sides, slowly but surely. It forces the other team to kick the ball far too early and far too often. The amount of ball Australia relinquished in Auckland was a disgrace, and was a direct result of the defensive pressure exerted by the world champions.
You can count on the Springboks adopting a very similar approach tomorrow night.
The Wallabies have to increase their speed of play in attack. A huge amount of this responsibility lies with Will Genia, though it’s not solely his burden. Will is a great player, and is probably worth 7-10 points a game, but he needs to up his tempo.
Also, the option to pick and drive has definitely been underused in my opinion. It seems relatively elementary, but in times like this it’s important to readdress the fundamentals. It may seem simple, but we need to regain the ability to move forward and retain possession.
Let’s hope that we see some running rugby in Perth!
Wallabies to win by 10.
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