Eddie Jones coaching points: England vs Scotland

Conor Wilson Roar Rookie

By Conor Wilson, Conor Wilson is a Roar Rookie

 , ,

14 Have your say

    Eddie Jones will be happy with aspects of England’s performance against Wales, and regardless of public persona, furious with others.

    To not score any points in 60 minutes of a game will particularly irk him, especially as he is actively trying to improve England’s attack.

    The lack of Welsh penalties – an almost unbelievable two – was an enormous factor and a show of incredible discipline from the men in red, as were re-positioning quickly and inaccuracy at the breakdown, while a six-day turnaround showed in the last 15 minutes.

    There are now two weeks to go to Scotland and Jones will have his team working hard. Their aerial game and attack were very good, as was the counter into space from poor Welsh kicks. Defence, at times, was good, but not good enough.

    The following are areas Jones will focus on before the match with Scotland.

    Area 1: England’s ‘Brumbies mode’ and support philosophy

    Jones has shown his hand for playing in the wet and the results excite. Twickenham was miserable on Saturday and Scotland in winter can easily be the same. Logically in these conditions, England not only kicked, but shortened the passes, and played smart.

    As I’ve stated before, Jones has based the philosophies of his England attack on Rod Macqueen’s Brumbies. Not until Wales did I realise how much so.

    The Brumbies operated a grid system, where the field was split into eight channels. On the direction of the tactical decision makers, the players would be directed to a channel with speed and intensity.

    They would attack en masse over multiple phases, targeting the same channel, and taking defenders – in particular, the pillar defence – out of the game. The physicality of these runs meant the attack could recycle the ball quickly and go again within the channel, striking where defenders were now out of action.

    It’s simple and efficient, and allows the attack to be on the move before the defence is ready. This was relentless and defences would draw in to stop conceding gain-line.

    Using rapid re-positioning and their skill sets, they’d then exploit the space out wide.

    Principles of Brumbies mode
    Operate within a ten-metre channel, targetting and overwhelming the three guards of the pillar defence. The first guard protects the inside option, the second guard is responsible for the running 9, and the third is responsible for the running 10.

    Players must start flat and run on to the ball with intent, as to clear out and re-attack the guards with speed.

    Decisions in interplays must be made as flat as possible, then alternate between blind and open of the ruck dependent on guard integrity.

    England Brumbies mode
    First, we see a ‘prong’ go in off Danny Care. They cut an inside line to drag players from the open, and the ball is recycled quickly.

    Care lures the first guard to tackle and passes to George Ford, who takes the ball flat and, committing the original second guard, passes inside to exploit space created from Care’s track. However Jonny May’s line is wrong, as such, he has to jump over this player and is tackled by players from the blind, who then move to open.

    Because of this, the guard integrity on the blind is compromised. This is the point of this pattern: to thin the pillar defence in its organisation and numbers so the gainline can be made. Joe Launchbury exploits this with a pick and go, makes metres, and Sam Simmonds comes in to pick and go on an even more compromised guard before the ruck is formed.

    It is similar to the Wallabies’ version, with the main difference being targeting individual defenders. However, they didn’t leave their ten-metre channel, but ran onto the ball hard, recycled quickly and went again.

    Remember, England play to go through teams. This mode is ideal for wet-weather play, suits England’s strengths, and is played at breakneck pace.

    England will use this against Scotland. But the key reason that Jones has brought this out of retirement is because of the All Blacks.

    Jones has said that “unpopular rugby” will win the World Cup. The All Blacks are especially susceptible to carries around the ruck. This stops their rush defence, and, with enough pace, will send the defence into scramble mode, opening space from the 10-13 channels.

    These gaps are what Ford can exploit with his flat passing so well, and a key area where Jones will look to get his points outside of the kicking game and set piece.

    Jones will encourage cleaners to take players out of the game in their cleanouts, and therefore not only thin the line, but influence ‘moving blind to open-open to blind’ guard defenders as to exploit the weak side. He will work on decision making and in particular on when to pick and go and instruct players when to alternate between blind and open, dependent on the guard.

    Eddie Jones and Dylan Hartley pose with the cup

    (Photo by Tim Anger)

    Area 2: Breakdown accuracy

    This ties in well with the above. But England’s attacks were stymied multiple times by players either going off their feet or getting isolated.

    England are improving, but expect greater urgency to be placed on supporting players, as well as players from the previous ruck being in a position to assist this. Physicality will be raised due to the Scottish jackalling threats – England cannot squander possession against the Scots when their attack is predominantly based upon it.

    Area 3: Defence

    Wales’ impulse to offload caused England issues. Thankfully, the ‘coming through’ runners were handled with constricted defence, but the Welsh made metres here.

    England will be working on their chop tackling and the choke tackle in particular. Both of these prevent offloads and, against an enterprising team like Scotland, will be key to preventing chances out wide.

    Their front-up defence was good, especially on the Welsh ‘three’ pods. But Eddie will want more.

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (14)

    • February 14th 2018 @ 7:45am
      Malo said | February 14th 2018 @ 7:45am | ! Report

      Once Scotland beat them watch Eddie persona change. Cmon the Scots .

      • February 14th 2018 @ 8:10pm
        Mmmmm..k said | February 14th 2018 @ 8:10pm | ! Report

        Scotland do have a shot but Eddie’s persona will only change if he loses a lot in a row.
        Then we might see him get bitter.

      • February 15th 2018 @ 6:51pm
        adastra32 said | February 15th 2018 @ 6:51pm | ! Report

        My, the grapes are sour Down Under this year….

    • Roar Rookie

      February 14th 2018 @ 11:46am
      Conor Wilson said | February 14th 2018 @ 11:46am | ! Report


      Hi All.

      I had gifs in for this but they were not included.

      Please refer to this article for the correct gifs and demonstrations.


    • February 14th 2018 @ 5:40pm
      Mitch said | February 14th 2018 @ 5:40pm | ! Report

      Lol I personally cant stanc Eddie Jones as soon as he loses he cant accept he was beaten its just more a case of his side not performing. When Ireland beat them all he mentioned was that is he played that side 10 times he would win 6. When Australia played them dispite missing some of our best players all couldnt stop going on about it yet he pulled numerous key players out of club competition to play that game. The funniest thing about this is that when he had a game not too long after where he was missing key players he told the fans not to turn up lol.

      • February 14th 2018 @ 8:06pm
        Mmmmm..k said | February 14th 2018 @ 8:06pm | ! Report

        “Ireland played superbly and they were too good for us on the day,” said Jones. “We’re all human beings, we’re not perfect, and that’s why world records finish at 18 games because it’s hard to keep going. “They used the conditions superbly, we probably didn’t.”
        “We’re 14 months into a four-year project,” he said. “Full credit to Ireland, they were brilliantly coached and executed their plan well”

        -Eddie Jones after England’s loss to Ireland.

        Never let the truth get in the way of a good story Mitch.

        • February 15th 2018 @ 4:24am
          Mitch said | February 15th 2018 @ 4:24am | ! Report

          I also mentioned a few other things beside that mmmm k.

    • February 14th 2018 @ 6:11pm
      Crash Ball2 said | February 14th 2018 @ 6:11pm | ! Report

      Really nice piece Conor. I’m enjoying your recent contributions. Thank you. Keep ’em coming.

      • February 14th 2018 @ 11:07pm
        ethan said | February 14th 2018 @ 11:07pm | ! Report

        Ditto, great read Conor! If your headlines were in red you’d be getting 100+ comments.

        • February 15th 2018 @ 5:16am
          Goatee said | February 15th 2018 @ 5:16am | ! Report

          Nicely done again, Conor. A good read.

      • February 16th 2018 @ 12:26pm
        Corw said | February 16th 2018 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

        Agreed! Keep them coming.

    • February 14th 2018 @ 7:36pm
      FunBus said | February 14th 2018 @ 7:36pm | ! Report

      Thanks for the good analysis.
      I don’t think it’s been mentioned, but England played the 2nd half without a number 8. Robshaw filled-in there, but alot of the running threat near to the ruck was negated. It won’t be often that England have neither Vunipola, Hughes or Simmonds on the pitch.

    • February 15th 2018 @ 12:36am
      English twizz said | February 15th 2018 @ 12:36am | ! Report

      Hughes back in the squad this week

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    , ,