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A Wallaby backline to consider

Tom new author
Roar Rookie
28th November, 2018
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Tom new author
Roar Rookie
28th November, 2018
32
4055 Reads

It certainly makes your head spin trying to come up with the ultimate Wallabies backline combination using our current squad stock.

The mission to select a backline that can consistently break defensive lines and provide required support to score tries is no easy task.

So, let’s be logical about this and consider the essential traits required to achieve a successful backline combo.

Well, they have been on show in bucket loads in respective wins by the All Blacks and Ireland throughout the Rugby Championship and the recent Northern Hemisphere Tour season.

A successful backline has to defend for 80 minutes, of course, but for now let’s concentrate on the most successful traits of backline attack and then propose a Wallabies backline combination that may get close to displaying those traits.

What we see consistently in the most successful All Black and Irish backline attack raids are the following traits (not in any particular order);

  • Willingness to run the ball – possession wins games
  • Quick and smart decision making in choosing run lines – running hard at space to bend defence lines
  • Reliance on ‘individual flare’ and not over reliance on rehearsed attack moves that become predictable
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  • Ability to support the ball runner – unless he’s Beauden Barrett, in which case once you have fed him the ball, sit back, watch, crack a beer and cheer him on.
  • Avoid panic or loose passing at the end of attack runs, knowing when to go to ground and retain possession rather than risk a low percentage pass
  • Shallow or flatter angled attack lines are more successful than deep backline attacks – they question defence lines rather than give a good defence time to consider an attacks direction
  • Genuine pace throughout the backline is also essential.
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    We don’t yet have a Beauden Barrett, but we can provide a combination to match effectively the traits outlined above.

    To this end I would like to put out there the following Wallabies backline.

    Flyhalf: Bernard Foley
    Inside centre: Reece Hodge (hoping he recovers from ankle injury well)
    Outside centre: Dane Haylett-Petty
    Wing: Marika Koroibete
    Wing: Sefa Naivalu
    Fullback: Israel Falou
    Reserve backs: Samu Kerevi, Jack Maddocks and Jordan Petaia.

    This combo offers two or three ball players, line breakers, kickers (short and long), genuine pace on field and on the bench and the smarts of Dane Haylett-Petty.

    His great outside channel run, stepping several England players in the recent test, convinced me he should have a crack at outside centre. He is not the fastest back but has speed and, if well supported, can line break and set up try opportunities.

    Defence combos to be sorted as required for different opposition.

    Just an armchair expert’s opinion, but we have had plenty of opportunity this year to mull over what the Wallabies aren’t doing right in attack as much as observe the best of the best in flight.

    Bring on 2019.

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