In each Tri-Nations match so far the Wallabies have failed royally in at least in one major facet of the game, which has either released pressure on the opposition, or created it on themselves. In Auckland it was the scrum, in Cape Town it was the line-out. Last Saturday it was their kicking in general play, which was nothing short of abysmal.
As Bob Dwyer says, you have only 3 choices in attack: kick, pass or run. None is intrinsically wrong, but what you must do is use them to test the defence; i.e. put pressure on them. It’s wrong to say that kicking is boring and negative. Bad kicking is boring and negative.
We classified every general play kick the Wallabies made last Saturday (video at bottom) into one of four categories: those that either put pressure on the kiwis or relieved pressure off Australia (positive), or those that either relieved pressure from the ABs, or even worse, put pressure on the Wallabies (negative). The results in the table below.
As you can see, the number standing out like a dogs dick is that precisely half of Australia’s own kicks actually put pressure directly on themselves. The key culprit in this regard being Matt Giteau. Not once did he gain territory with a cross-field touch finder. Instead, there seemed to be a deliberate tactic of midfield kicking. If this was to test the return kicking of the NZ back three, it clearly didn’t work.
The other alarming trait from Saturday was the reflex action that particularly Peter Hynes and Adam Ashley-Cooper demonstrated when in a breakaway attacking position; the mindless grubber. If you have a man open with a speed advantage, it can be positive choice. However, in a foot race to the line, even with support, this appears to be the Wallabies’ only option, no matter how obviously futile it is.
I assume this gave them a topic for training this week – I wonder what it’ll be next?
[youtube width=”640″ height=”505″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuAxGoXehqg[/youtube]