WTF happened in the last 10 at Newlands: analysis part 2

WTF happened in the last 10 at Newlands: analysis part 2

Our analysis into just what went so wrong in the Wallabies last 10 minutes at Newlands against the Springboks last weekend continues, goddamit.

In part 1 we looked the errors leading to the DeVilliers’ try that swung the match. In this instalment we investigate the next try to Patrick Lambie.

In the seven minutes since the Boks’ last try the Wallabies have redoubled their efforts, breaking the Saffa line more than once, only to turn the ball over while on attack. This is repeated when Tevita Kuridrani takes the ball into contact in midfield, just over halfway.

Error 1 – Owens misses tackler not releasing

part 2.1

As can be clearly seen above, the tackler Eben ‘Funkyzeit’ Etzebeth does not release Kuridrani, preventing him from recycling the ball to a waiting Horne and Phipps. As Owens is staring directly at the incident it’s hard to understand why, as otherwise Nigel had his usual excellent game.

This results in a turnover to South Africa which Lambie then cross kicks into touch just inside the Wallabies 22.

Error 2 – Hanson overthrows

part 2.2

From the telecast you only catch the end of the ensuing Wallaby line out, but what is clear is that Hanson has overthrown a non contested line out. This is bad, but even worse it falls perfectly  into the arms of a fresh and rampaging Shalk Berger who punches deep into Australia’s 22.

Error 3 – slow defensive realignment

A quick recycle later and the Wallabies exhausted defence is now caught out.

part 2.3

The extra 100 tackles that the Wallabies have made (252 vs 153) are showing; the folding of the defence around the ruck is too slow and not only are the Wallabies two men short on the short side, but Tevita Kuridrani has found himself marking both Bismark Du Plessis in the first attacking line and Patrick Lambie in the second.

Error 4 – Kuridrani’s missed tackle

Kuridrani can’t leave Du Plessis until it’s clear the ball is not going to him but behind to Lambie, which un-sights the Wallaby 13.  As Lambie emerges from behind the South African hooker, Kuridrani over-reads Lambie’s pace, drifting out fractionally too far. This is all Lambie needs  – he instinctively dummies and steps inside Kuridrani – who had made 17 tackles in the match and only missed two, until now.

part 2.4

Error 5 – Horwill’s missed tackle

From the breakdown, Horwill was marking Matfield, but has drifted out with the defence, putting him in a position to cover Lambie’s inside break. In the 40 minutes the second rower has been on the field he’s also made 17 tackles and missed two. Horwill gets an arm on Lambie, but then falls off the tackle – he’s missed his third.

part 2.5

Error 6 – Hanson’s passive tackle

To his credit the Wallabies replacement hooker has been tracking across field and puts himself in a position to cover for Horwill. He too manages to get a solid arm on Lambie’s torso, but then is unable to effect a dominant or even neutral tackle. He ends up dragging Lambie to a halt by one boot, but 30 centimetres too late.

part 2.6

Error 7 – Phipps’ missed tackle, and the fact he’s still on the field

There’s no way around it, Nick Phipps is playing sweeping defender role, and it’s clear who he has to stop. His attempt is god awful; upright, off balance using not even arms, but palms. He adds nothing to halting Lambie.

part 2.7

While this was a shocking miss by Phipps, you have to wonder why, in a match where the Wallabies had clearly exhausted themselves, Nic White – a holding the ball up over the line merchant – wasn’t on for these last minutes to help chase the game.

Whatever the case Lambie scores the try taking the tally to 21-10.

Analysing this section of the match, what’s clear is that the Wallabies by now are simply exhausted and committing physical defensive errors that make Patrick Lambie look like Duane Vermuelen.  As Graeme pointed out in his analysis, with a strategy of midfield kicking to the most brutal of running teams in the world, this shouldn’t have surprised the Wallabies and their management, which is probably the biggest error made in the match overall.

There’s one try left in this match – what do you say:

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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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