Articles

Finding the Natural Weakness Posted almost 5 years ago

Default

Photo: Jeanfrancois Beausejour, Monaco

People have been kind enough to say that the All Blacks scored a few tries at this World Cup through analysing and exploiting weaknesses. Maybe that is true but, so long as coaches realise that rugby is a simple game and don’t try to complicate things, we can all share in these successes.

There are several areas in the game of rugby where there are natural weaknesses, such as the transition between forwards and backs. The back of the lineout can be a vulnerable place, where the All Blacks attacked France in their pool game. Outside number 13 or behind the backline can be weak, areas where we took on Australia in the semi-final. Maybe you can attack either side of the scrum, where New Zealand did well against Canada.

There are natural weaknesses in a rugby team. A game plan is about exploiting those weaknesses. Then you might look at your specific opposition for a specific weakness. Is their number 6 slow off the side of the scrum. If we cut the lineout to five, does that accentuate a defensive weakness at the back of their lineout. What’s the position of their back three? How do they defend.

There might be a number 10 who is a poor tackler. Quade Cooper is a prime example. Australia took him out of the frontline, as do the Reds, and defend him because Cooper is not a good tackler. He does not lack heart, but it is not an area of strength. Dropping Cooper back produced a weakness in their back three. The Irish took advantage of that. Maybe New Zealand took advantage of that.

When you look to attack, you look for areas of natural weakness in the opposition. Some of that is done by the players on the pitch, but some of that can be done by good coaching.

If you look, really look, then it is all out there. You don’t need to be the world’s greatest detective to find the holes.

Enter your email address to continue reading

We frequently post interesting articles and comment from our world class content providers so please provide us with your email address and we will notify you when new articles are available.

We'll also get in touch with various news and updates that we think will interest you. We promise to not spam, sell, or otherwise abuse your address (you can unsubscribe at any time).

Comments

comments powered by Disqus

_Richie McCaw on Sir Graham Henry:_ He is never happy where we are at. He always has somewhere to go, always looking to make improvements. He has watched a huge amount of rugby and is not afraid to trial ideas from other teams. That’s his huge strength. He sees the big picture, plans a whole campaign. He is motivated by a huge desire to see the All Blacks win every test and the World Cup.

Comments
Topic Leadership & Management
Applicable to Coaches  

Related articles

Coming soon: Graham Henry - Game plan and selection

In this course, Sir Graham takes you through developing a game plan based on your weaknesses and strengths, and analysing the opposition’s weaknesses. He also covers the importance of wise selection.

Coming soon - Graham Henry 'Constant Improvement'

Graham Henry tackles the question, how do you constantly improve?

Why late is on time

Graham Henry talks about the midfield and the need for patience

Gatland will need good men as well as good players

Graham Henry examines the philosophy behind selecting a Lions squad and reckons there is more to it than just selecting the best 36 players

Ask Sir Graham...Answers

Sir Graham answers your questions