Hi guys, today we look at the Japanese game, which is not a easy thing to do! But as always when we put aside emotion and hysteria we can get some interesting information and get to a better opinion. Nobody is suggesting that it is OK that the Boks lose to the Brave Blossoms, but there is a bit more to the story if you are interested to know.
Please read the full article at the Vodacom Rugby Site. But I have included some lovely little video clips below to illustrate just how the Japanese outsmart us. They played with guts and composure too, but hell these guys catch us off guard. Well done to them.
1. To start, lets us look at the amazing One Second Scrum I refer to in the article. It is a thing of beauty!
2. Next, let us look at a clever long distance bullet lineout throw that just ignore the whole lineout. Another smart play to create parity in the set pieces.
3. Look at this beautiful defence structure. One man is allowed to shoot up… but watch behind him as the defence line close behind him like a amoeba. He is like a rocket that is fired at the Bok attack, but even if he miss it is ok, because there is a cohesive line of troops that close the hole behind him. Beautiful. Boks is stopped behind advantage line again.
4. And then look at this… Boks varied their running well despite what people is saying- sometimes play narrow, sometimes wide. Good shape and depth. In this example we run it from the one touchline to the other with good decoys and offloads. But then a Japanese Kamikaze missile come and stop us in our tracks! Well done to them. Anyone will have struggle against this type of assault. Bottom line, we should have started to kick more (or should I say kick BETTER) to break their excellent structure and get behind them.
5. Two angles of their lovely set-piece try. A Eddie Jones classic from the Einstein rugby coaching manuel that exploit the natural elbow between forwards and backline after a lineout. It is unfair to judge players in slowmotion when things happens in the blink of an eye, but it is interesting to note that Handre is positioned correctly, but that Jean is spaced out too wide from him, possibly thinking he must cover for Jesse as well. The break will happen on Jean’s inside shoulder. This is sometimes the problem with new combinations – trust, understanding, communication.
6. Quick look at this “famous” picture of Fourie ignoring the space to his left.
It is tough to criticise him too much when we watch the video. The Japan defender leave that space because du Preez is about to pass the ball to where his strike runners are waiting.
7. Another thing people complain about is Schalk playing “flyhalf” too much. Truth is he was very valuable here and I would not change it. He only get the ball 13 times – 5 times he pass, 8 times he carry. That is not extra ordinary for a “go-to” carrier in rugby. But the point is, every time he commit players on that inside, he help create space outside. Predictable? Even if you know he is getting the ball, you still have to commit to him! And then maybe he passes the ball anyway…