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Japan

Japan Digest: Japan vs All Blacks

Japan has improved massively since their 145-17 humiliating defeat to the All Blacks during the 1995 Rugby World Cup. But as a Tier 2 side, they are still a long way away from being competitive against the All Blacks...
Jamie Joseph's Depth Chart

Jamie Joseph’s Depth Chart

I have recently written an article that analyses the players Jamie Joseph will be relying on for success during this year's November tests and next year's World Cup based on the number of caps players have. Inspired by The 1014...

The All Blacks running ten

Barrett, McKenzie, and Larkham. The 1st thing we have to understand, when considering the All Blacks running ten is what all three of these men have in common. Beauden Barrett, Damien McKenzie, and Stephen Larkham. Three of the most naturally...
Jamie Jospeh's Japan

Jamie Joseph’s Caps

The last Top League tournament before the 2019 Rugby World Cup has officially started. At this stage of the World Cup cycle, Jamie Joseph will have more focus on putting his strongest match-day 23 together rather than bringing in new...
Wasps 3-1-2 system

The 3-1-2 system

England have recently employed a 1-2-2-2 +1 system. This is only a little less complicated than it sounds. A series of articles by Conor Wilson, here, explain the concept in much more detail than I will go into. Essentially the...
England's Tactics

Tactics: South Africa v England 3rd Test

England finally broke their losing streak against South Africa at Newlands. The first two matches of the series were fast paced games at altitude. This game was at sea level and played in wet weather. As a result, the...
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...

Tactics: South Africa v England

South Africa v England, what a game! England opens with one of the best 20-minute spells you will ever see. South Africa pull off an astonishing comeback from 3-24 down to lead at halftime. The Springboks take full control...
How to make the All Blacks perfect

How to make the All Blacks perfect: Part 1: Brumby Mode

"You've got to take on their weaknesses, and they've got significant weaknesses. I'm not going to share them with you now; in 2018 I will" - Eddie Jones, 2016. Eddie Jones stated in 2016, that the All Blacks have weaknesses....

Tactics: Racing 92 v Munster

The Racing 92 performance in their recent Champions Cup Semi-Final win over Munster was surprising to many people. They looked so comfortable. The result was never in doubt. Racing led 27-3 after 62 minutes. And yet, this game was tactically...

England’s 7 Problem

England's Problem Position England haven't really used a traditional 7 since Neil Back retired. For brief moments, players like Andy Hazell or Tom Rees looked like they might go on to become permanent fixtures. Unfortunately, through injury or selection, it...
Champion coach. Champion team.

Joe Schmidt’s Ireland: What makes a Champion Coach and Team?

Congratulations to Ireland. Ireland were in full control of that game. And in his selection, Eddie Jones showed a panic in changing his side that I would not have expected of such a seasoned coach. He made selection changes that...

Tactics: England v Ireland

Congratulations Ireland on a historic third Grand Slam. This was yet another intelligent and clinical performance from the men in green. In this article, I will explore some of the tactics Ireland used in beating England. England themselves have now...
Scotland v England. Calcutta Cup 2018.

“Off 9 and Into Contact”: Where England must Improve for Ireland?

Well done Ireland on your Championship. You have been by far the most consistent and relentless team in the competition and I fully congratulate you on a splendid tournament. But now, it's to Twickenham, where you bring your structure, your...

Tactics: Ireland v Scotland

Ireland 28 - 8 Scotland. Another heavy away defeat for a Scotland side that, while imperious at home, can't buy a Six Nations win away from Murrayfield or Rome. However, in this game at least, the scoreline doesn't tell the...

A simple player and team rating system

Recently I’ve been looking into certain player attributes which collectively influence the outcome of games and I wanted to present a simple player and team rating system which can be used to rate different players and international teams. Many articles...
Modern rugby

Video: Modern rugby an overview

The 1014 Rugby look at modern rugby through the lens of a coach's playbook. Add to this the comments from both Eddie Jones and Scott Robertson regarding defence and it becomes apparent how important systems are. Yes, playing what...
Eddie Jones coaching

The Scotland v England Fallout: What will Eddie Jones be coaching?

Very well done Scotland. You completely and utterly outplayed us, and regardless of our own performance the potency of yours cannot be denied. You were smart, accurate, and entirely ruthless. Qualities I usually attribute to this England team. On Saturday,...

Tactique: Écosse v Angleterre

Dans les articles de tactique précédents, trouvés ici et ici, je me suis concentré sur les regroupements et les différentes façons dont les pods sont utilisés. Dans cet article, je vais plutôt regarder la fascinante bataille tactique qui s'est...

Tactics: Scotland v England

In the previous tactics articles, found here and here, I have focused on the breakdown and the different ways pods are used. In this article I will instead look at the fascinating tactical battle that unfolded in the latest...

Scotland’s patterns and tactics part 6: The Grubber Game

As I have mentioned earlier in this series, Scotland like to use the grubber kick close to the wings. In fact, they like it a lot. It is too much of a coincidence that this play occurs to be a...

Scotland’s patterns and tactics part 5: The 3-1-Tip-on

This passage of play is what showed me that Scotland are a true, heads-up rugby team. The reasoning behind this was that their wide men weren't fully ready, weren't correctly aligned, which stresses the need for another playmaker in...

Scotland’s patterns and tactics part 4: The 3-3-Tip-on

In this article we take a look at another Scottish variation of the traditional 1-3-3-1. The 3-3-Tip-On This is where the same thinking behind the exploiting of Samoa's Rush 10 Defence, was used so astutely on the All Blacks. The...

Scotland’s patterns and tactics part 3: The 3-Tip-on-3

I already stated earlier that this is the hardest series I've had to write, and you'll see why in the next stills. Like I've said, Scotland maintains a very fluid framework within their structure. To manipulate defences, they want...
What will Joe Schmidt be coaching

Ireland v Wales: What will Joe Schmidt be coaching?

Joe Schmidt will have a right to be happy. He is 2 from 2, and his next game is in the Aviva Stadium, a place where he hasn't lost a Six Nations match since he became the Irish coach. He...

Scotland’s patterns and tactics part 2: The 1-3-3-1

Scotland uses the 1-3-3-1, but they use it in a different way to Ireland who are quite regimented with it. They use it differently to Australia, who are traditionally far more adventurous and Barbarians like. They use it almost...
What will Gregor Townsend be coaching

Scotland v England: What will Gregor Townsend be coaching?

Scotland's performance against France, especially in the last 20 minutes personified their fitness and edge. They rectified a lot of problems from their run out against Wales. Their defence was better, though still not good enough. Their attack around their...

Scotland’s patterns and tactics part 1: Tenets

Scotland were my performers of the Autumn. No doubt about it. They have built on the great work of Vern Cotter and continued where he left off. Gregor Townsend has come in and brought continuity, adventure, heart, fitness and most...
Scotland v England. What will Eddie Jones be coaching?

Scotland v England: What will Eddie Jones be coaching?

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 due to the fact...

Wales’ patterns and tactics part 6: Kicking Strategy

Wales implementation of their attacking kicking strategy has been done very, very well. This has been a part of their game for long before the World Cup. Warrenball dictates that the kicks from the back 3 remain in field, so...

Wales’ patterns and tactics part 5: On the break

This article shows Wales' keenness on moving the ball wide. It also illustrates that the players need change only one thing in order for it to become fully effective. In the following example, we know the call that was made...
Scatter graph from Expected Wins Contributed analysis

Expected Wins Contributed (xWC). The holy grail of statistical analysis?

The holy grail of statistical analysis in any sport is to have one metric that fits all. Not only does it fit all, but it can accurately evaluate a player’s quality. Existing examples of this from other sports include “Wins...

Wales’ patterns and tactics part 4: The 3-3-Tip on

The 3-3-Tip On is the same principle as the previous pattern. However, the lack of screen differentiates it. The pattern is very similar if not identical to the Scottish Tip-on pattern. Here we see exactly the same set up as...

Wales’ patterns and tactics part 3: The 1-3-3-1

In this, the third article on Wales we take a look at their use of the 1-3-3-1 system via some examples. The Welsh have a long openside which they can use in this example. They have lined up a 3...

Wales’ patterns and tactics part 2: The Tenets

This article takes a look at the new Welsh tenets. I say new, as they appear to be just that after years in the "Warrenball" wilderness. New Wales attacking tenets: Players must offload more. Players must quickly use the width...

Wales’ patterns and tactics part 1: Introduction

First and foremost, you'll have to forgive me, as this is the most polarising series I've ever written. Mainly, because of frustration. There's a popular theory about the definition of insanity by Einstein. Even though it was debunked that it...

Wales v Scotland Reviewed: The Scarlets Effect

Ladies and Gentlemen, I did not expect this. Wales were brilliant today. Fast, full of endeavour, their handling was crisp, their timing of their runs on point, their lines good and their alignment; Oh, their alignment was something else....

Ireland’s patterns and tactics part 7: Altering Patterns

As we know from the prior articles Ireland essentially have two attack patterns (or families); namely the 1-3-3-1 Looper and the Twos. But this does not mean that Ireland sticks to them rigidly. They have variations, they have cases...

Ireland’s patterns and tactics part 6: Key players

Now, remember, Ireland also have their kicking game. Which is arguably the most honed and accurate in the World. For this, you need Conor Murray and Jonny Sexton. But while both players are clearly the choices to implement Ireland's kicking...

Ireland’s patterns and tactics part 5: Success factors

There are certain things that are required for Ireland's patterns to be fully effective, I like to refer to them as their success factors. As can be seen from the prior articles in this series Ireland's patterns are vulnerable. Most...

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