The Roar
The Roar

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Joined January 2019

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Okay so the main defensive strategies
are:
1. Man on man. Normal ABCs
2. Drift or slide. Say from a scrum, 10,12,13 pack in tight leaving space on the outside forcing the attack wide, then pushing hard toward the sideline
3. Inside out. Giving the carrier the outside channel and looking to isolate
4. Outside in. Giving the carrier the inside channel forcing into the ruck
5. Flag – use this when you are outnumbered like a 2 on 1 situation. Defender ghosts the ball carrier and shows a weak shoulder, until help arrives from the inside enabling that Defender to drift on to the outside man.

ANALYSIS: 'As good a quarter in Foster's reign' powers All Blacks to big win and lets coach breathe easier

We are traditionally man on man defenders. We’re taught that as kids. However up north they are teaching Defending the ball which in theory means you are not wasting defenders on dummy runners or decoy plays behind the first line of attack and focus only on where the ball is going.

ANALYSIS: 'As good a quarter in Foster's reign' powers All Blacks to big win and lets coach breathe easier

My own theory is that we need to develop two things: 1. A genuine fetcher/jackal role and contest for the ball better at the breakdown. SA are doing this brilliantly with Kogger Smith. 2. INCREASE line speed. The downside of this is the risk of penalties for off-side or any number of offenses real or imagined by the ref at breakdown time.

ANALYSIS: 'As good a quarter in Foster's reign' powers All Blacks to big win and lets coach breathe easier

In the past when the master fetcher RI hie McCaw was on the park, our defence was about getting numbers to the breakdown and killing the flow of ball or pilfering it all together. Nowadays it appears to me that we are avoiding sending in numbers, and instead opting for men on their feet. What that is meant to do is plug up any holes in the defensive line from A defender right out to the wide channel. The only problem the attack is so quick, we are gettinf caught back tracking and unable to slow their flow and that creates a flow on effect of problems where every defender had to shuffle in and leave the space out wide, such as was seen with Keith Earls well worked try.

ANALYSIS: 'As good a quarter in Foster's reign' powers All Blacks to big win and lets coach breathe easier

The principles of play in defence are:

1. Contest for possession – i.e. at the breakdown, at set piece.
2. Go Forward – line speed
3. With Support – send in numbers at the breakdown or spread and hold
4. Regain Possession – look to jackal, or contest at set piece
5. Counter attack.

In general play, when the attack is focused on building phases, the defence at the ruck is arranged in an ABCD fashion, either side of the ruck. Typically the A defenders job is cover the pick and go, the B defender is to cover the halfback snipe and C is responsible taking the rest of the line up to tackle the carrier. The objective of the defence is to catch the attack before they get past the gain line. But if the attack is swift, like Ireland were last night, and if the halfback provides crisp and quick ball, and if the carriers are able to use footwork or offload or just physically bash their way over the gain line, the defensive line gets disjointed and are unable to adjust in time because they are bactracking. To counter the attack, the ABs need to do one of two things: 1. Increase their line speed or 2. Slow the speed of delievery at the ruck by contesting for Possession either through numbers or a jackal. England and SA are the masters of line speed in D and Ireland are not far behind.

ANALYSIS: 'As good a quarter in Foster's reign' powers All Blacks to big win and lets coach breathe easier

As an ABs fan I am not for one moment fooled by that win last night. In structured play, Ireland were all over us. Their flow on attack and ability to force errors in defence, caused havoc at times.
We were saved by 2 things, the ref, and our natural ability to score in broken play/counter attack. I don’t think we can rely on that at the world cup in 18 months.

ANALYSIS: 'As good a quarter in Foster's reign' powers All Blacks to big win and lets coach breathe easier

Strong side, however, Tom Banks is a liability. Jordan Petia needs to be on the field somewhere. Perhaps shift the ever reliable and versatile Kellaway to the back and put Petia on the right wing.

'Work ethic, aggression and aerial battles': Using Dave Rennie's statements to predict his first Test team selection

Add Peter Greig to that list as well.

'Heartache after heartache': The 10 rival players All Black fans feared the most

Hilarious! We made fun of Grant Fox who was similar style of play to Naas, but he won us so many games no one cared anymore. Gerber is still the greatest centre I’ve seen play the game, and that was toward the end of his career. What a shame we never got to see more of this man.

'Heartache after heartache': The 10 rival players All Black fans feared the most

Absolute beast of a man, scared the bejeezus out of us kiwis, it was as if a barn door was running up the pitch whenever he had the ball in hand. An awesome sight.

'Heartache after heartache': The 10 rival players All Black fans feared the most

Correct. My memory is not what it used to be. 94 French team scoring the try from the ends of the earth. It is fabulous to see that they have regained their place as one of the top, if not the top side in the world.

'Heartache after heartache': The 10 rival players All Black fans feared the most

Barry John, JPR as well, but Edward’s was much more of worry because of the sheer number of times he touched the ball as a halfback. Wow I never knew that about Naas being so disliked further South. Do you care to elaborate for this kiwi?

'Heartache after heartache': The 10 rival players All Black fans feared the most

A performance for the ages! Not many times do you lose a final and still get awarded the man of the match. An incredible athlete and leader.

'Heartache after heartache': The 10 rival players All Black fans feared the most

Correct. Long night that one 😔

'Heartache after heartache': The 10 rival players All Black fans feared the most

Crossed my mind, grew up imitating the goosie on the back lawn. He was just too unpredictable for me. Hot one day, cold the next, he could win you a game or lose it for you just as easy. Even so, there is no doubt he held in the highest regard in NZ. In the top 5 wingers of all time.

'Heartache after heartache': The 10 rival players All Black fans feared the most

Correct mate. Bismark terrified the living daylights out of us kiwis. I remember him splitting DC in half with an absolute rib-buster. Turn overs, block busting runs, huge hits deserved mention here.

'Heartache after heartache': The 10 rival players All Black fans feared the most

Poidevin was an absolute menace of a breakaway, tough and clever, he caused his fair share of worries for the ABs during the 80s. Very well respected on this side of the Tasman.

'Heartache after heartache': The 10 rival players All Black fans feared the most

Correction: France 2007 team, Australia 2003. Mortlock deserves a mention here.

'Heartache after heartache': The 10 rival players All Black fans feared the most

All the media hype (spin) behind the recent blues run of form couldn’t mask what most honest rugby fans already knew. The Blues were not and are not in the same League as the Crusaders. Since their Trans-Tasman final win (claymans title: avoided Crusaders) last year the media were trumping them up as the team to beat this year. Add to that their 15 wins on the trott including a rare win over the Saders in Christchurch and all of a sudden people were sure that this was going to be the Blues year. In reality they were, and still are, miles off the pace. The scary thing for all the other teams is that this Crusaders team is just as young and as hungry as ever to protect their legacy. They have moved past just playing to win finals. They’re playing for legacy and dynasty now. That’s a scary thing. They’ve created such a dominant empire (rivaled only by other super clubs/teams such as the Lakers, United, Patriots, ABs, Real, Rabbits) that the fear of losing a title is just as motivating as adding another one. That’s the same cycle the ABs find themselves in year after year. The Red jersey has now taken on a new level of mysticsm, almost like a holy-artifact, and with each passing year the romanticism and awe around the Crusaders empire just gets stronger and stronger. Retired legends are cherished in the same way the church worships the dead Saints, Apostles and Prophets (Blackadder, Thorne, Mehrtens, Marshall, Carter, McCaw, Read). The legacy is now set in stone. A perpetual empire has been created.

REACTION: 'A complete performance'- Crusaders dominate Blues to take Super Rugby Pacific crown

The Blues front row and line out had nothing to Ofa 😛

REACTION: 'A complete performance'- Crusaders dominate Blues to take Super Rugby Pacific crown

That’s even more insulting 😁 😂 I hate the Blues and wouldn’t put Ioane near a 6 ABs jersey but it always makes me laugh when amatures like act like you say dumb things.

REACTION: 'A complete performance'- Crusaders dominate Blues to take Super Rugby Pacific crown

The game has changed drastically since we won the cup in 2015. 1331 or variations of that (242)was the go to. Nowadays the zones and channels have shifted to suit a kick and contest style of that suits big teams like England and SA. France have a hybrid model which aligns with our style, Ireland too. We don’t have the size to perfect the kick and contest. We will have to go with a hybrid model and back the instincts of Richie and Beauden to get us across the line.

REACTION: 'A complete performance'- Crusaders dominate Blues to take Super Rugby Pacific crown

Ofa? This is a pisstake right?

REACTION: 'A complete performance'- Crusaders dominate Blues to take Super Rugby Pacific crown

“Slow moving plodder…”
If so, even an amature like you could tackle a slow moving plodder 😛

REACTION: 'A complete performance'- Crusaders dominate Blues to take Super Rugby Pacific crown

I’d pay to see you tackle him 😱

REACTION: 'A complete performance'- Crusaders dominate Blues to take Super Rugby Pacific crown

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