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Super Rugby 2019 Performance Preview

The Gainline Analytics team have taken their Cohesion and TWI markers to the Super Rugby competition starting this weekend. Simon and Ben have analysed how each team and conference is likely perform and why?

How to play the ‘libero’ like Faf de Klerk

The ‘libero’ is an evocative term in the Soccer vocabulary. It describes the free role played from a defensive position occupied by outstanding players like Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer, Ronald Koeman from the Netherlands, and Gaetano Scirea and Franco Baresi of Italy. Eventually the libero died out of the professional arm of the game with the demise of man-marking. However as Analyst Nick Bishop illustrates in the use of the scrum-half as the free man on defence have occurred recently in rugby through players like South African Faf de Klerk.

The Hidden Side of the 6 Nations

Our friends at Gainline Analytics have had close look at the prospects of this year’s 6 nations tournament. It has been a moving feast in Northern Hemisphere Rugby especially at club level. Club and Test do not act in isolation however these effects take time to manifest. GAIN LINE Analytics research into teams show some very clear correlations over the long term around this aspect. They have taken a look at the prospects of this years 6 nations sides and the effect of their club setup and the draw might have on their prospects.

Are 'foracks' the future?

Last week Eddie Jones introduced the possibility of in the future backs playing the in the forwards. Writer Graham Jenkins, in his latest article, looks at whether Jones’ comments have merit or are just pre 6N tournament banter.

What attention to detail at the cleanout really means

Ireland’s Joe Schmidt already coaches with the same values as his All Black counterparts, Sir Graham Henry and Steve Hansen. He insists on high standards of behaviour both on and off the field, on the need to ‘sweep the sheds’ and take responsibility for every individual action. I believe this makes him a New Zealand head coach-in-waiting. Analyst Nick Bishop explores the attention to detail from Joe Schmidt’s Irish team in his latest article.

Is there a right time to walk away?

In the cut-throat world of elite sport, unfortunately coaches do not always get to choose when they step away from a role with their future more often than not defined by their employers. In his latest article Graham Jenkins examines the decision of the leading coaches who have met the success criteria of their bosses yet still opt to move on all the more interesting and perhaps revealing.

Getting your defence right: when to ‘dig’ and when to ‘wrap’

It is probably no accident that the teams with Farrell-coached defences only lost two of the six Tests they played against the All Blacks. Against other opponents in the same time-frame, New Zealand have scored tries for fun, averaging a runaway 5.7 tries per match on their way to a 90% plus win rate. Analyst Nick Bishop explores one of Ireland’s key breakdown defence strategies when to ‘wrap’ around into a new position, and when to ‘dig’ for a turnover after a tackle has been made.

The most successful coaches - is there a secret to success

It’s clear that there’s no hard and fast plan to becoming a great coach. However our friends at Coach-logic take a look at some legends in their own disciplines, and how these giants have bucked the trend and are the benchmark that so many others are measured against.

Farrell spearheads the case for the defence

Ireland’s defence was pivotal in their win over the All Blacks last weekend. Graham Jenkins identifies who and how Ireland managed to shackle the most potent attacking team in the world.

How to attack with the box-kick

The perception of ‘negative play’ in rugby is often associated with kicking the ball. The idea that a team which can no longer think of anything positive to do with the ball, kicks it away instead. Analyst Nick Bishop looks at how kicking is now about creating opportunity for the offence, rather than simply to move the ball off the field of play.

How to blind-side your opponent from scrums!

Defence in the modern game is built around the speed at which the defensive line can move up and mount pressure on its opponents. Analyst Nick Bishop looks at when the offence becomes “How can we offset that momentum? How can we take away some of that speed?”.

Is the sport lacking a global star?

In a break during training recently, writer Graham Jenkins took the opportunity to ask a group of his Under 12s whether they had sat down and watched any of the great rugby we had been treated to in recent weeks.