The Final Word
Our game plan/philosophy for this series, is also a vital part of selecting our Wallaby fly-half. If we want to play a percentage, kicking based game plan (and surely lose), then you’d be looking at Toomua or Barnes as the fly-half. If, however, we want to run the Lions ragged and blow them off the park with attacking brilliance that simply doesn’t exist in the NH, then we should be looking at Cooper or Lealiifano. You can’t pick Cooper, and then tell him that he has to kick the ball all game and play percentages. He can do it, but it is daft (a lot like driving a massive 4×4 with road tyres in the centre of Sydney).
In my opinion, we should be playing to OUR strengths. Yes, we need to dominate the breakdown, and the set pieces as well, or we’re no hope. However, if we do that, and then play the same way the Lions backs will play, there is no point gaining all that forward dominance. We should be looking to launch a blitzkrieg of attacking rugby at the Lions from everywhere on the park. Set piece back-lines moves, set piece line-out moves, unstructured counter-attack from fullback in numbers, all launched off the back of dominating forward play is what will win us this series.
Aimless kicking, unstructured first phase play, one out isolated runners, inflexible game plans and aerial ping-pong will not, because we would be playing to THEIR strengths. The Lions players play that game week in week out, and know how to win those games. The two highest ranked teams on the log right now are the Brumbies and Reds, and they are both playing a high tempo, attacking style of rugby that is being launched off a dominant forward platform. We must play to our strengths and be positive, not simply try to avoid losing and play right into the Lions hands and be negative.