Rugby

Video analysis: Lineouts at Newlands

Video analysis: Lineouts at Newlands

A lot’s been said about the Wallabies lack of discipline conspiring to lose the test at Newlands, but despite 3 yellow cards in one game, what I believe did more to self sabotage the Wallabies was their failure to maintain field position and pressure through a dismal line-out performance.

Below you’ll see that in the 18 lineouts the Wallabies had, they lost 8 (44%).

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5ov3G8PxPw[/youtube]

Interestingly, of those 8 losses, only 3 were direct steals from the Boks; the other 5 were 2 miss-timed jumps, 1 overthrown and 2 not straight. What’s important though is the ordering and timing of these.It all starts well with Moore picking off a throw Palu in the first pod, then Sharpe in the second and finally Horwill in the third pod at the back. All functioning nicely.

But then Moore overthrows Brown in the back pod by less than a foot. What difference a taller 6?

The next line-out, the ball is to go to Sharpe in pod 2, but Moore, still reeling from the previous overthrow, brings his range down about a foot. This allows Spies, jumping directly in front of Sharpe to just get his finger-tips on the ball. Second loss and panic is setting in. Fark!

The following line-out is a repeat performance, except this time it’s our own agony aunt, Bakkies Botha, getting his arm in front of Sharpe at pod 3, because the ball is once again marginally underthrown. Farking fark!

So waddya do next? You hit Cliffy at the front. Bingo. Phew.

However, before the next line-out, we’ve lost a forward (Brown) and all of a sudden the options are much slimmer. Victor reads it like the master he is and easily out-jumps Big Kev at the front.

Just a minute later, it’s exactly the same scenario, but partly because the Boks haven’t got their shit together (and partly because the throw’s not that straight) Horwill brings this one in.

The Second Half gets off to the worst possible start with the Wallabies not even getting a jumper into the air. Smith seems to have forgotten to lift Sharpe and the ball goes sailing over.

48 minutes down and the Wallabies are under pressure on their own 5m line, but Moore utilises the space at the back with a beatifully timed long throw that Brown peels off to pluck the pill from the air on the charge.

Polata-Nau then comes on and immediately hits his Tah-mate Mumm at pod 3 and who’s off to the races once back on deck. He follows it up hitting Brown in the middle at the next line-out. But of his remaining 3 throws, 2 are ruled not straight.

In summary, it’s all down to the details at line-out time, and just a few going astray at the wrong time, coupled with some smart pressure from the Boks, crippled Australia’s momentum in a game that was being played by the boot. Speaking of pressure, or lack of it, the Wallabies only contested 4 out of the 12 South African throws.

The irony of ironies is that it’s been the Wallaby line-out that’s been the banker while the scrum sucked – what a freaking role reversal! My question is whether it’s a coincidence that the scrum has continued to improve with Noriega joining as specialist coach, but the line-out faltering with the loss of ex-hooker and re-starts coach Foley?



Rugby
@MattRowley

Matt started G&GR just before the 2007 Rugby World Cup and has been enslaved ever since. Follow him on twitter: @MattRowley

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