The winning formula for Trans-Tasman showdown
SPOTLIGHT: The Wallabies, like every team in the Rugby Championship, have given fans moments of brilliance amongst moments of mediocrity and everything in between.
Two tests remain for each team in the tournament and the trophy remains within reach of all four nations.
The remaining two clashes in the Wallabies’ schedule are against their most familiar foe, New Zealand.
James Parsons of the Aotearoa Rugby Pod and previously of the Auckland Blues shared his thoughts on how the Australians should go about attacking the All Blacks.
“I think what we’ve seen from all these teams, is when they’ve got it right they’ve just focused on themselves,” Parsons said.
“It’s not about over-looking that (game) tape and trying to find reasons how or why they were so much better, it’s really (about) what can we nail? what can we execute to manipulate them?
“We’ve seen it time and time again with this Aussie attack and it’s their work off the ball, their blindside wingers coming involved, being that extra man on the opposite side, getting their hands on the ball at first receiver creating time and space for guys that can put little kicks through or get it to that edge through quick hands.
“I think they’re in control of their own destiny on attack, they’ve just got to go to their own strengths and back that.”
Parsons’ co-panellist and ex-Crusaders halfback Bryn Hall also lent his observations to the conversation.
“As it’s shown this year, if you’re five per cent off and you don’t get things right,” Hall said. “Predominantly at the breakdown, It’s the area where the Australians need to get right because I think when they get that right they’ve got the ability of Nic White and like Jip (Parsons) said, they’ve got the ability to rove off nine, they’ve got the ability to rove off ten and work off the ball and get that animation right through that phase play shape.”
The breakdown has been a huge talking point this season, the ability to execute a rush defence and control the pace of the game are aspects of the game tightly knit into certain teams’ identity and very reliant on breakdown execution.
“Even Dave Rennie said after the match he thought their cleanup work was pretty poor,” Hall continued. “Their anticipation, their clean-outs, their ball carrier was too high and they didn’t get the entry right.
“Every time the All Blacks have lost this year, they haven’t won that breakdown battle so you’d have to think the Australians will be pretty good around the next ten days previewing, getting those pictures right and getting that right in the training week to be able to try and ask questions of the All Blacks.”
By Ned Lester, RugbyPass