Bath head coach’s tac­ti­cal guide

Ar­eas where the game will be won and lost

The Daily Telegraph - Rugby World Cup - - Sport Rugby World Cup 2015 - Mike Ford

1 The ruck

Who­ever gets on top in this phase will be in the box seats. The breakdown bat­tle is that im­por­tant.

David Po­cock has been get­ting all the head­lines, and rightly so. With 14 turnovers, five more than any­one else, he de­serves that level of praise.

He reads sit­u­a­tions so well, makes good de­ci­sions, knows when to com­mit and when to hold back, just like Richie McCaw in fact. Of course, both can only op­er­ate if they have ca­pa­ble men around them.

How do you neu­tralise Po­cock? You can try run­ning straight at him to tie him in but this might limit your own at­tack­ing op­tions. One thing is for sure: Po­cock and McCaw will have a big say on the out­come.

2 Kick­ing game

The aerial con­test has been a fea­ture of this World Cup and New Zealand have been right to the fore. Full-back Ben Smith (right) has been dom­i­nant at the rear and, in at­tack, Dan Carter looks to be back to his best with the ac­cu­racy of his outof-hand kick­ing.

Wal­laby full-back Is­rael Fo­lau, usu­ally such a pres­ence, has not been at his best.

New Zealand used a lot of grub­ber kicks in the semi­fi­nal, a good tac­tic against the Spring­bok defence where there was space in be­hind the wings who had pushed up.

3 The at­tack

Both teams have had suc­cess in scor­ing tries, the All Blacks lead­ing the way with 36 in their five games, but they had an eas­ier group than Aus­tralia, who have man­aged 26.

The All Blacks have the skills, from full-back to loose­head prop, to catch and pass, the es­sen­tials of any at­tack. The half­backs, Aaron Smith and Dan Carter, have an edge, al­though Wal­laby fly-half, Bernard Fo­ley, has sur­prised me in this tour­na­ment as an at­tack­ing or­gan­iser.

One key dif­fer­ence is that the Wal­la­bies have, at times, looked vul­ner­a­ble. Ar­gentina made 13 line breaks against them and Aus­tralia missed 30 tack­les. Any re­peat, and New Zealand will be home and dry.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.