HOW TO BRING IN­NO­VA­TION TO YOUR LI­NE­OUT A MA­JOR area for at­tack coaches and for­ward coaches to fo­cus on is the li­ne­out. Many hours are spent look­ing at for­ma­tions, set-ups, tech­ni­cal faults and tac­ti­cal in­no­va­tions. 4 Height and leg speed.

This trick li­ne­out worked a treat for New­cas­tle. Give it a go too, says

Rugby World - - THE ANALYST -

When I coached the Ospreys, Lyn Jones was as in­no­va­tive as they come. We spe­cialised in sep­a­rat­ing the op­po­si­tion de­fend­ers to cre­ate holes through the mid­dle of the li­ne­out, around the front 5m chan­nel or at the back.

This year’s Rugby Cham­pi­onship saw lots of front- and back-peel move­ments de­signed to iso­late de­fend­ers and get the at­tack on the front foot to ex­ploit the next phase, or even to strike off first phase bring­ing key run­ners into ma­nip­u­lated space. We’re also see­ing backs join­ing driv­ing mauls to score, with Eng­land adapt­ing Wales’ 13-man li­ne­out against the All Blacks in 2012.

A lot of these plays re­quire in­tri­cate de­tail: com­plex move­ments that dis­tract the op­po­si­tion, subtle block­ing to cre­ate space and, most of all, de­cep­tion that may have been caused by an ear­lier li­ne­out move­ment in the game.

How­ever, not all of these plays need that much de­tail. New­cas­tle showed against Sara­cens this sea­son that a well-drilled and ‘all on page’ men­tal­ity can pre­vail. This type of play can be mir­rored at all lev­els and is an ef­fec­tive one as it has that sur­prise el­e­ment.

Ed­in­burgh, Scot­land and Sara­cens them­selves are among teams to have used this play this sea­son, but none did it so em­phat­i­cally as the Fal­cons. With the ben­e­fit of anal­y­sis, they planned for Sara­cens to de­fend in a par­tic­u­lar way and caught them un­awares. I’ve looked at the trick play in more de­tail…

Now the other New­cas­tle for­wards join the driv­ing maul. Their low height and or­gan­ised for­ma­tion means the unit pow­ers rapidly be­yond Itoje to­wards the try-line, the for­wards sup­port­ing each other with solid binds and uni­form leg speed. This is im­por­tant as the pack wants to stay on its feet and not fall over or get dragged to the floor. The thrust cre­ated by the well-formed pack takes Wil­son over the line. New­cas­tle heav­ily out­num­ber Sara­cens in for­ward num­bers as he scores.

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