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 Scots started with a 3 pod trucking it up the 10 channel. Luckily, in the prior phase, the Scots had gone over the advantage line. And as such, the line speed was not as rapid as it would’ve been in prior phases. Here we can see the same set up as we’ve always seen. However, the 2nd 3 pod needs more time to realign, so the 1st pod goes into contact rather than tipping the ball on.

Again, look at the All Blacks defence, the fulcrum is very narrow. Remember this set up in defence is like the Samoans and the Scots exploited this.

Scotland's Six Nations (6 Nations) patterns and tactics could have evolved since the NZ game here. This is part 1

The ball goes to Russell on the next phase, who has the next 3 pod outside of him. Behind the 3 pod, he has Huw Jones who can be used as the next stage of the attack.

Scotland's Six Nations (6 Nations) patterns and tactics could have evolved since the NZ game here. This is part 2

Flat to the line

Russell takes the ball flat to the line, whilst the centre carrier of the 3 pod (yellow/red dot) drops back as the pod goes forward, taking the ball in between the two runners in the 3 pod with him. He receives the pass, with Jones, a great outside break runner alongside him.

We only have to see how the Scottish have exploited the All Black Rush 10 Defence to see how smart this is. Originally targeting Russell, the inside men drifted over in an in to out pattern to the 3 pod runners. The 3 pod runners have held straight lines, and as such, the combo has constricted the All Blacks defence around them (purple) leaving space on the outside.

Scotland's Six Nations (6 Nations) patterns and tactics could have evolved since the NZ game here. This is part 3

Huw Jones and his positioning here is not coincidental. Jones is a Joseph of Scotland, a runner who is sensational at targeting the outside shoulder of a defender, freeing up space out wide for the fast men. Here he receives the pass and it is exactly what he does. He runs and targets the opposite man. In this instance it is Squire. The line could be up flatter off the 2nd “3” pod here, but the result is still pretty effective.

Scotland's Six Nations (6 Nations) patterns and tactics could have evolved since the NZ game here. This is part 4

He succeeds, drawing and passing out to Hogg.

Scotland's Six Nations (6 Nations) patterns and tactics could have evolved since the NZ game here. This is part 5

Hogg has a flat line of defenders opposite him and his fast men beside him. Showing Scotland’s adventurous streak a mere 3 minutes before the end of the match, he initiates Scotlands grubber policy. A policy we will expand on later in the week. Here, Jones receives the gather from Seymour and goes over for the try. 

Mental fortitude

This is what scares me about Scotland. Their willingness to execute a grubber, 3 minutes before match end in a crucial high-pressure situation. This says a LOT, about their mental frame right now, and can only be hugely applauded.

If you haven’t already, take a look at Part 1: Tenets, Part 2: 1-3-3-1 and Part 3: 3-tip-on-3 in this series.

Author: Conor Wilson

Recently retired from the Military, Skydiving and rare Steak Enthusiast and Coach and Player of the beautiful game of Rugby.

Joe Schmidt, Will Greenwood and Rod MacQueen are my heroes, and my proudest moment was putting Jason Robinson in for a try at a promotional Rugby day. It was truly beautiful.

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