Home Analysis

Analysis

The Eddie Jones England Attack part 5: Summary and Kicking Strategies

In this final instalment of the series, I am going to run through an overview of England's box kicking strategies. If you haven't been through the first four articles they can be found here (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3...

Ireland’s patterns and tactics part 4: Twos

As you can probably guess the 1-3-3-1 pattern is not exactly free-flowing. It is highly regimented and geared for multiple phases across the park. When Ireland want to cut loose they employ another pattern that combines with the 3...

Ireland’s patterns and tactics part 3: Decoy & Splitter

There are many variations to Ireland's tactic of playing to their 3-3-1 pattern. Here is another example of the play from a set piece, except it ends with a decoy move this time, rather than a Looper play. Note It should...

The Eddie Jones England Attack part 4: Fitness of the Forwards

One of the key elements that Jones has focused on is the fitness of his squad. In particular the pack. The fitness that Jones requires is entirely different to the fitness regime of the England squad in 2015. The fitness...

Ireland’s patterns and tactics part 2: 3-3-1 Looper

Ireland, have maintained their kicking game. To this day they still use their box kicking ability very effectively. They have since evolved their attacking game. This, is down to two patterns. In this article, we shall be focusing on the...

Ireland’s patterns and tactics part 1: Tenets

In this series of articles, I am going to run through Ireland's attacking patterns and tactics. They won't be as detailed as the English series that I have just completed; more like the 1st article in that series. Ireland's Tenets Possession and...

The Eddie Jones England Attack part 3: Importance of Multiple Options

As we learnt in the previous articles, the two prong pattern relies a lot on the 10-12 axis and fitness. However, it also relies on runners presenting multiple options at all times to the ball carrier. Mike Brown, running...

The Effect of Mass Imports on Talent Development

In this article we will look at the scale of foreign imports in rugby. We will also find out if there are lessons to be learned from the scale and nature of imports found in football. English football - too...

The Eddie Jones England Attack part 2: Importance of the 10-12 Axis

This is my second article in the England Attack series. If you haven't read the first, I fully recommend you do. If not, terms like "Two Prong" and "Switchback" may sound odd in this article without the context. Now, it's been...

The Eddie Jones England Attack part 1: Attack Patterns Explained

As of October 2017, nearly two years into Eddie Jones' reign at Twickenham, England do not have an attack coach. We have: a dedicated defence coach Paul Gustard, forwards coach Steve Borthwick, scrum coach Paul Hatley, a key man Dean...
Some of the dark arts of the breakdown.

Tactics: The Breakdown

Most people agree that getting an edge at the breakdown goes a long way towards winning rugby matches. This article will look at the latter stages of last year's Champions Cup. It will highlight some of the tactics used...

Rugby IQ Series: Part 3 (Leicester v Worcester 25/11/17)

Part 1 of the Rugby IQ Series looked at the different ways England and Australia slowed down the drift defence and preserved space on the outside. The article can be found here. Part 2 showed how Exeter and Harlequins took...

A scary tackle safety study, and what is Activate?

We all know you are asking for trouble by putting your head in the wrong place when making a tackle. But are you aware just how dangerous it can be? A Japanese study published in the November 2017 issue of the...

Rugby IQ Series: Part 2 (Exeter vs Harlequins 19/11/2017)

Part 2 of the Rugby IQ series will look at 4 tries from the Exeter vs Harlequins game on 19th November 2017. The game can be found here. If you haven’t seen Part 1 of the Rugby IQ series, you...

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...

Featured

Videos