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Tactics: Variations of the pod

What is a pod? A pod is a group of players who will attack the same space together. When it is used correctly, defenders don't know which attacker will get the ball. Support is available for offloads and to resource...

Rugby IQ Series: Part 1 (England v Australia 18/11/2017)

Rugby IQ Part 1 is the first in a series of analysis articles. The intention is to analyse a few scenarios from a game. So far so normal. However, most analysis articles are a detailed play by play that mostly...

Ireland v Springboks: A False Dawn for the Boks

To all Springbok fans out there, please note that I don't take enjoyment in this article. I am currently writing a series on the England attack before the Six Nations and as such have been a little sparse with other...
Test caps

How much does test match experience matter for success in tournaments?

We all take it for granted that test match experience is vital for teams to do well in competitions. The stats, however, paint a much more complicated picture. Every time a team is announced, we understand that an important calculation...
Martin Johnson one of the greats. It is no wonder that World Cup winners have great locks (not just good locks) when you look at these stats. PHOTO: Fotosport/Photosport

The Surprising Importance of Lineout Steals

The number of lineout steals is the poor cousin in rugby analytics. But it may prove to be the difference between winning and losing. I think there is a debate to be had over lineout steals. Judging from the stats...
Ross Cronje is an important cog for the Springboks 1331 system. @Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

The Springbok 1-3-3-1: Is it enough for their Renaissance?

2016 was not a good year for the Springboks. In their attack, I couldn't work out what they were doing, what their game plan or structure was. Defence? Questionable by the ability for first phase tries to be scored against them....
All Blacks captain Kieran Read will be a main driver in their efficiency and fitness. © Copyright Image: www.photosport.nz

All Blacks Winning Factor: Fitness and Efficiency

Before the Springbok game, we thought the All Blacks were back to mortality. Or nearing it. We saw them struggle with the rush defence against the Lions. The Wallabies pushed them hard, very hard and you could argue they were...
Springbok Analysis

Springbok Analysis

2016 was a year to forget for the Springboks; however, it appears they have turned a corner in 2017. Here in The Shed, Gareth and I run the ruler over what they are trying to achieve, what they have achieved...
Aaron Smith scores against Argentina at RWC2015. This was the test I first noticed The Flood being used as an All Blacks attacking pattern. Photo: Matthew Impey

Development of All Blacks attacking pattern

The Rugby Championship of 2016 was a resounding success for the All Blacks. One thing I noted is that, while the All Blacks have always had their 2-4-2 structure in place, they have made significant strides in becoming far more...
Can the Lions stop All Black Beauden Barrett?

The 1014 Show: Can the Lions stop Beauden Barrett?

Is it possible to stop Beauden Barrett? In the space of one year, he has taken the All Blacks #10 jersey and redefined it. Barrett's try in Dublin last year is the stuff of legend, and it is possibly the...
What is Warrenball? Will Warren Gatland's Lions use it?

What is Warrenball? Can it beat the All Blacks?

What is Warrenball? It's a term often used and never explained in detail. The term Warrenball was coined and used carelessly during the Lions Tour of Australia in 2013, however, Warren Gatland himself has asked what it means exactly. It...
Guinness Series, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 19/11/2016 Ireland vs New Zealand New Zealandís Beauden Barrett on his way to scoring a try Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Analyse This – How do you defend a Beauden Barrett Try?

This is the first of our Analyse This articles, a series where we ask our readers to solve a particular problem. In this case, how would you defend this attack by Beauden Barrett and the All Blacks? This clip is...

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