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All credit to New Zealand for not blaming the virus in the team or end-of-year-tiredness for their loss at the hands of a committed England team.

The All Blacks players looked more than a bit pale and lethargic as they entered the field and even the Haka lacked its normal spark.

Punctiliously I don’t however think it was either the virus or tiredness that saw the All Blacks lose this match. It was the England tactics and their good defence that won them the match.

It is interesting that this England victory came on the back of having played South Africa four times this year. The matches against South Africa forced, I believe, the England team to lift their physicality and to sort out their set piece. The England scrum was solid and competitive and they were precise on their own line-out ball and kept on challenging and disrupting the All Black line-out. This prevented New Zealand from running their normal moves off set piece (scrum and line-out) but more importantly it allowed England to pin them down behind the advantage line.

To summarise or emphasize a point, I thought the England defence started by challenging New Zealand in the scrum and line-out to the extent that most New Zealand set piece ball was poor quality (slow, back-foot ball).

There was however two more aspects to the England defence. The most important part was the fact that England (like Italy two weeks ago) kept the ball in hand and in doing so prevented the All Blacks from running at them for the majority of the match. It was the England physicality at the breakdowns when they carried the ball that allowed them to keep possession and which prevented New Zealand from making their normal turnovers at the tackle. The key to the England team’s ability to keep the ball alive and not losing it at the tackle was the aggression of the ball carriers. The ball carriers did not just go to ground waiting for the supporting players to blow-over like the Springboks tend to do. The England ball carriers to a man worked hard in the tackles with aggressive leg drives and robust twirling, rotating, pirouetting as they hit contact. They also to a man bounced off the ground forcing themselves forward into the attacker’s legs as they hit the ground. The twirling / pirouetting prevented the defenders from getting their hands on the ball and the bouncing and forward ‘crawling’ as they hit the ground pushed the pilferer off his feet, giving the support players that split second they needed to blow-over.

This was complimented with superb and speedy low body support at the tackles. The England players were outstanding with regard to their rucking and mauling and maintained low body positions and high numbers throughout the entire match.

The other aspect that stood out with regard to the England defence was their tackling. Two things stood out for me about the England tackling: Firstly, rushing up in tri-pod fashion on the ball receivers; Secondly the way they used low tackles to isolate the ball carriers and prevent off-loads.

England had three players standing off to close down the first channel next to the scrums, rucks and mauls. These players worked in triangle fashion with the tackler rushing up and the other two players hanging back to tackle anyone receiving off-loads. The All Blacks pattern is to work in two’s or three’s flat on the defensive line with the first receiver almost always just acting as a pivot but the other two are then in position to receive an off-load once the player next to him takes the tackle. England combated this by having a player rushing up on the player taking the ball into contact with two support players on either side hanging back closing the gap for the off-load. The next thing they did was that the person making the tackle went in low on the legs of the ball carrier. The low tackles not only made off-loads very difficult but it also created turnovers or extremely slow ball for the All Blacks. The tackle technique was to go in low but to also for the tackler to wrap himself around the ball carrier’s legs so that the tackler would fall behind the tackled man and on his legs. This prevented the ball carrier from bouncing up and crawling forward and placed the defender between the ball carrier and his incoming support. The ball carriers in short had difficulty turning and placing the ball in the tackle with the defender wrapped around his legs.

England was also exemplary in the way they ran with speed onto the ball and in the way they distributed the ball to the outside backs. They did things at pace, the passing was accurate and they used dummy runners and set moves to put players on the outside in space.

It was a good game of rugby and I thought a well-worked and deserved victory for England

The England coach clearly learnt from the previous test matches and from the Italians in terms of defending aggressively in channel one and with regard to keeping your hands on the ball. Hopefully Heyneke Meyer will learn something from this match, as England provided the clear blue print on how to beat the All Blacks.

23 Responses to End Of Year Tours: England vs All Blacks – Thoughts on the England victory

  • 1

    The tri-pod defence is used very effectivly by Stormers as well. It should be easy for the boks to start using it.

  • 2

    Yip McLook,

    England blunted the All Blacks distribution game very effectively and as a result Aaron Smith was totally out of his depths and Dan Carter had a shocking game.

    The All Blacks were never allowed (apart from the 2 quick tries) to get any rhytm and the England forwards played this game to perfection.

    Just shows you what a strong forwards oriented domination can do… and in addition if you dominate the tackles and breakdowns, how it can set up your backline to attack with purpose.

  • 3

    Virus, what virus?
    Wait for the Suzie poisoned us shit to start.

  • 4

    The Abs were definitely a bit off colour yesterday and some things didn’t go their way. In some of their previous matches the bounce of the ball, the fifty fifty passes and the tackles went their way – yesterday they did not. While I like the technical analysis as much as anyone else, I feel there is too much focus on it and too little of the “human” aspect. These are all good athletes who are at a high level of the game.
    Why did all these technical things work so well for England yesterday? Why did they not do this before? Why don’t all the other teams know and apply this? If it is known (and we assume all the well paid coaching staff should know at least what armchair viewers do) why do they fail to execute it so regularly?
    I believe that when playing at a similar level (Tier 1 nation vs tier 1 nation for example), other factors play a more significant role. Chief amongst them will be the emotional factors of passion, pride, commitment, determination and desire. One often hears the phrase “the other team wanted it more” for example. I think there is a great deal of truth in it especially when matched with an opposition that is complacent. We often talk about complacency but it just means that one is not so “gee-ed up” to win, as you’re expecting to win and so there is just not that same level of emotion. That’s what it means when the players say they were “flat” – they were not driven by passion in other words.
    Yesterday the ABs had their same technical expertise as usual – as we saw when they scored their 2 quick tries and their third try towards the end – but they were mainly just going through the motions. England just wanted it so much more and refused to give up. They matched that desire with technical proficiency and few errors and refusal to lie down. On any other day when the ABs reduced the deficit to just 1 point, it would have been game over for England and partly that is why the ABs lost. The ABs are just so used to winning that they can’t help becoming complacent. When the other team wants it far more than them and maintain that passion for the full 80 mins, like in their matches against Australia and Ireland, while the ABs just assume they are going to win, an upset can occur. Likewise when the ABs are fired up like they were in the final test against Ireland after sneaking that close win in the previous test, they destroy the opposition completely.
    So what I am saying is that with 2 equally fired up teams, the better technical and talented team wins. But if a team is “flat” on the day it gives a great advantage to the more determined team.

  • 5

    4 @ The_Young_Turk:
    Now THAT was a “flat” comment…. you should have been much more “gee-ed up”!

    Hahahaha

  • 6

    My SuperBru this year was very “flat”… I was not determined and motivated enough… I should have “gee-ed up” myself much more….. maybe I was too complacent!
    I was not technically proficient against my Tier 1 opponents!

    Hehehe

  • 7

    @ grootblousmile:
    Maybe you’re just not as “technically good” as me ;)

  • 8

    @ grootblousmile:
    Or maybe you’re not a a tier 1 player and just suck at superbru ;)

  • 9

    7 & 8 @ The_Young_Turk:
    Hey, don’t be an ostridge now…. play the freegin breakdowns….
    Jy het ook maar net ‘n oorstoot drie in beseringstyd gekry.

    I was just a bit “flat”.

    Wait till I bring my A-game next year, dan kaaaakkkkkkk julle weer!

    Form is temporary (Turky), class is permanent (GBS).

  • 10

    @ grootblousmile:
    Happy-Grin

    Losers will always come up with excuses to make themselves feel better Conceited

  • 11

    @ grootblousmile:
    Happy-Grin

    Losers will always come up with excuses to make themselves feel better
    Conceited

  • 12

    11 @ The_Young_Turk:
    Hakkel jy?
    Tounge-Out

    I would not be too windgat if I were you… you ended 13th… and oompie Puma with the kak knees ended 5th.

    Damn, he’s a lucky bastard…. hehehehe

    If this SuperBru thing was like Super Rugby… I would have been relegated like the Lions in position 16… eishhhh

    Bwahahahaha
    Tired

  • 13

    @ grootblousmile:
    Don’t you know it’s polite to be kind to the elderly? That’s why I let Oompie beat me on bru ;)

  • 14

    13 @ The_Young_Turk:
    Flok, in that case we should have let Oom Pietman beat you too… hahaha

    Careful, Oompie Puma might suddenly think he knows something about rugby… and then we’ll never hear the end of how many Sharks players need to start for the Bokke!

    Happy-Grin

    PS! He’s going to come moer us here just now… hahahaha

  • 15

    Sarries beat Gloucester 28 / 23

    Flok, John Smit was ook maar net daar om die nommertjies vol the maak vir Sarries. Really, really time he retires now!

  • 16

    @ grootblousmile:
    At least Oom Pieta is young at heart and can type without mistakes.
    Oompie puma will declare that if Bambie was playing for the ABs they would have won yesterday.
    As far as moering us, you are nearer to him and he doesn’t know where I live Tounge-Out

  • 17

    16 @ The_Young_Turk:
    Flok, if Bambie had a bad game like Dan Carter did yesterday, even Oompie Puma might dump the lad…. hehehe

    Neewat, Oompie Puma could never catch either of us to moer us, not with those shoddy knees!

    You know how I picture Oompie Puma? A friendly, podgy kaalkop omie, with a walking stick…. who drives a Volvo station wagon with a Sharks sticker on the back bumper

    Hehehehe

  • 19

    18 @ superBul:
    Ou Bees… how did you do on Bru?

  • 20

    @ grootblousmile:
    kyk nie eers nie dink heel laasteof in die laaste 3, het op n verbeeldings vlug gegaan en al die under dogs gekies, Hehe

  • 21

    Sien nou 34/38 ste, Beat darem esteemed players like Kickers, Carol en Bean en bokbafana , net bok het bly speel die ander 3 het lankal opgehou pick of werlik swak gepick…. die mud dwellers lyk bad, really bad.

  • 22

    Just had to copy this from Rugby365. A bit over the top from this writer. I thought England’s Forwards were outstanding and it was at the breakdowns that they blitzed the ABs. They were so fast to get there and with that their scrummie was getting fast ball and that allowed their backs to have good ball. They played 15 man rugby and were superb on the day.

    Every team no matter how good will eventually lose. So some team had to stop the ABs run eventually. WE also have to remember how much rugby has been played by the SH teams by the time the eoyt start. ALL our teams are playing on extra time, all the players are exhausted by that time. So would England have had this kind of beating of the ABs had they been as fresh as the England side? I am not so sure. Remember the travel that all the players from Oz, NZ and SA have to do in the Super Rugby, no easy feat doing that travelling and playing. Then in the RC the travel was huge again. Can’t say it means nothing it does it exhausts players. Not looking for excuses of the ABs loss just being realistic.

    Another thing when we played England here in June it came after our teams here had two derbies two weeks in a row. How can we expect the best from our Boks going into a test like that? Meyer needs time with the players to be fair to have a good crack. Eoyt also came straight after RC then CC where AGAIN our Boks played in that tourney and it is a bloody tough tourney as tough as Super Rugby in the physicality stakes.

    The bottom line is we need a global season. Or NO June tests and only once a year we play NH teams. One year we go there and the next they come htere. we tour to NH after the RC one year and the next they come here. Will be rather hot here to play, but if we don’t have the June tests that gives us a extra 3 weeks eariler to start. Much better playing against teams with less exhaustion. It will never happen though.

    Here is the article from Rugby365. Thought it was over the top really.

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    The stuff of legend

    Sun, 02 Dec 2012 12:08

    England immortalised themselves with a legendary performance

    England’s extraordinary triumph over the All Blacks at Twickenham on Saturday was one of the greatest performances the game has ever seen.

    There’s no melodrama in that statement. It was simply sublime and against all odds.

    The 38-21 record-breaking win was the finest ever at the headquarters of English rugby in terms of the quality of the opposition and the sheer improbability of the result.

    What England achieved cannot be overstated. There was no element of luck to it, it was as comprehensive a win as it was unbelievable.

    There was absolutely no feasible logic from an analytical point of view to suggest that such a shocking outcome was even remotely possible.

    Richie McCaw’s All Blacks had been unbeaten in 20 Tests, dating back to August 2011. They had not lost to northern hemisphere opposition on an end-of-year tour in a decade and had made a compelling case to be considered as the best team of all-time.

    Instead, it was an underdog English side, in the purest sense of the word, who immortalised themselves with a legendary performance. In 80 inspired minutes, they vanquished the nightmares of a disastrous World Cup campaign 12 months earlier and restored pride in the white jersey.

    Individuals stood tall – the barnstorming Manu Tuilagi, who cut the All Black defence to shreds like none before him, talismanic captain Chris Robshaw, majestic Tom Wood, sharpshooter Owen Farrell, prodigious Joe Launchbury and battle-hardened Brad Barritt to name but a few – but it was the indomitable collective effort that will live long in the memory of all who witnessed the classic clash.

    So where does the victory rank? Does it top France’s epic 43-31 victory over the All Blacks, ironically at the same venue, in the 1999 World Cup semifinals? In a word – yes.

    It’s unprecedented in so many ways. No team have ever dominated the All Blacks in all facets of play like England did at the weekend, condemning New Zealand to their first scoreless half this century.

    Only once in 498 Tests – a 28-7 defeat to the Wallabies in Sydney in 1999 – have the mighty All Blacks been beaten by a larger margin. That speaks volumes of the victory – a triumph of the spirit, passion and unity of 23 men that should be savoured.

    It deserves all the plaudits in the world.

    By Quintin van Jaarsveld

  • 23

    Just had to copy this from Rugby365. A bit over the top from this writer. I thought England’s Forwards were outstanding and it was at the breakdowns that they blitzed the ABs. They were so fast to get there and with that their scrummie was getting fast ball and that allowed their backs to have good ball. They played 15 man rugby and were superb on the day.

    Every team no matter how good will eventually lose. So some team had to stop the ABs run eventually. WE also have to remember how much rugby has been played by the SH teams by the time the eoyt start. ALL our teams are playing on extra time, all the players are exhausted by that time. So would England have had this kind of beating of the ABs had they been as fresh as the England side? I am not so sure. Remember the travel that all the players from Oz, NZ and SA have to do in the Super Rugby, no easy feat doing that travelling and playing. Then in the RC the travel was huge again. Can’t say it means nothing it does it exhausts players. Not looking for excuses of the ABs loss just being realistic.

    Another thing when we played England here in June it came after our teams here had two derbies two weeks in a row. How can we expect the best from our Boks going into a test like that? Meyer needs time with the players to be fair to have a good crack. Eoyt also came straight after RC then CC where AGAIN our Boks played in that tourney and it is a bloody tough tourney as tough as Super Rugby in the physicality stakes.

    The bottom line is we need a global season. Or NO June tests and only once a year we play NH teams. One year we go there and the next they come here. we tour to NH after the RC one year and the next they come here. Will be rather hot here to play, but if we don’t have the June tests that gives us a extra 3 weeks eariler to start. Much better playing against teams with less exhaustion. It will never happen though.

    Here is the article from Rugby365. Thought it was over the top really.

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    The stuff of legend

    Sun, 02 Dec 2012 12:08

    England immortalised themselves with a legendary performance

    England’s extraordinary triumph over the All Blacks at Twickenham on Saturday was one of the greatest performances the game has ever seen.

    There’s no melodrama in that statement. It was simply sublime and against all odds.

    The 38-21 record-breaking win was the finest ever at the headquarters of English rugby in terms of the quality of the opposition and the sheer improbability of the result.

    What England achieved cannot be overstated. There was no element of luck to it, it was as comprehensive a win as it was unbelievable.

    There was absolutely no feasible logic from an analytical point of view to suggest that such a shocking outcome was even remotely possible.

    Richie McCaw’s All Blacks had been unbeaten in 20 Tests, dating back to August 2011. They had not lost to northern hemisphere opposition on an end-of-year tour in a decade and had made a compelling case to be considered as the best team of all-time.

    Instead, it was an underdog English side, in the purest sense of the word, who immortalised themselves with a legendary performance. In 80 inspired minutes, they vanquished the nightmares of a disastrous World Cup campaign 12 months earlier and restored pride in the white jersey.

    Individuals stood tall – the barnstorming Manu Tuilagi, who cut the All Black defence to shreds like none before him, talismanic captain Chris Robshaw, majestic Tom Wood, sharpshooter Owen Farrell, prodigious Joe Launchbury and battle-hardened Brad Barritt to name but a few – but it was the indomitable collective effort that will live long in the memory of all who witnessed the classic clash.

    So where does the victory rank? Does it top France’s epic 43-31 victory over the All Blacks, ironically at the same venue, in the 1999 World Cup semifinals? In a word – yes.

    It’s unprecedented in so many ways. No team have ever dominated the All Blacks in all facets of play like England did at the weekend, condemning New Zealand to their first scoreless half this century.

    Only once in 498 Tests – a 28-7 defeat to the Wallabies in Sydney in 1999 – have the mighty All Blacks been beaten by a larger margin. That speaks volumes of the victory – a triumph of the spirit, passion and unity of 23 men that should be savoured.

    It deserves all the plaudits in the world.

    By Quintin van Jaarsveld


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