Same Australian opponent, two different New Zealand game plans

With the departure of the South Africans from Super Rugby, the Brumberas were always going to provide the top New Zealand team with the highest intensity game outside the local derby.

So we were eagerly awaiting the match between the best team in Australia and the Kiwis one and two, not just for the result, but to see how the New Zealand coaches would approach it.

And they really can’t be any different.

Here it is to be expected that the New Zealand coaches and selectors saw that very different game plans produced seriously different results.

I don’t think it would be unfair to say that you know exactly what the Brumbies will bring: huge hearts and defensive effort, a flood of breakdowns, kicking off the competition and picking the malls to try.

And before it hits the sensitivities of many home fans, a quick jolt of team-attacking statistics for years confirms the narrowness of their threat, as well.

The Blues have a very direct, head-on approach to this game.

With Joe Schmidt on the crew, this blues team has a new twist about the team, a firmness in defense and a physique that was missing for some time.

Hoskins Satutu

(Photo by Mark Nolan / Getty Images)

The Blues game plan went straight to these powers: keep the ball, wave after the big runners wave (during this game the starting pack carries the ball 70 times, while Roger Twivasa-shake carries 13 times for a single pass) and wait break, or Dissatisfied opposition.

And while the Brumbeys were happy to concede the penalty arbitrarily, I suggest that they probably surprised the Blues with both their defense and the ability they were able to maintain it for the long haul.

It was here that the lack of an alternative war plan almost came back to bite them. They invited the Brumbies to a street fight, and they got one, which they had to spend around playing.

When an early halfback passes the ball 100 times in a match and has 70 percent of the territory, I look directly at the halfback and the fifth-eighth to innovate or strategically crush the opponent until they pause. And it just didn’t happen.

Last week I praised Bouden Barrett for playing in the slot, getting multiple touches and usually marshalling his team around the park and I was looking forward to more of the same.

But we’ve seen a return to being out in the back, and waiting for things to unfold before we inject ourselves.

Bowden Barrett Blues celebrates with teammates

(Photo by Phil Walter / Getty Images)

For the Reds this week, like James O’Connor, his kicking game lacked length, but fortunately, the Brumbeys don’t have the cattle to hit you on the way back.

At the 26-minute mark I let him down for six touches and you can’t handle a game like this.

While every tight forward in the Blues should have been in the Man of the Match race, there were two things in the Loose Forward / Breakdown job that were as annoying as watching last year’s All Blacks.

First, the Brumbs were able to slow down the Blues ‘rock ball overnight in a fair way or through a foul, as the Blues’ Luzies did not arrive together fast enough to compete.

And secondly, when they did, there was not enough physical presence to get them out of the way.

Let’s face it, breakdown referrals were kind of non-existent, so it was free for everyone, but it’s not an excuse to miss the main points of the game.

Slow ball means a tough night for Finley Christie, who has been in trouble all night.

This means that the Blues’ forwards were working harder than they needed to, but that meant they were easier to read because Twivasa-Shake had a few options outside of the slender runners without hitting it repeatedly.

It’s a blunt tool that the Blues have been working with this year but it’s one of the damn fine as their record show.

But they opened a door here for the Brumbies that shouldn’t have been there, and let’s remember, was a minute behind to go. This is a game plan that can be extremely expensive.

Its contrast with the Crusaders’ game plan.

Let’s start with Nick White’s reported report to the Crusaders’ halfback Brian Hall after this match. In short, the Crusaders did exactly what they wanted with the Brumbs.

It started with the election. The country’s top tackler Tom Christie was dropped off the bench and Pablo Matera, Ethan Blackader and Cullen Grace walked out in six, seven and eight shirts and the result was final.

The Brumbis runners were cut to the gain line (40 of them tackled without a miss) and sorted, and their arrival with the ball and accuracy during the offensive break ensured a quick ball and enough time to make the key to the people outside. Decision.

Folau Finga of Brumbis was confronted by Richie Munger of the Crusaders.

(Photo by Cameron Spencer / Getty Images)

Although Rob Valetini had a significant absence for Brumbis, they still sent a big trio, but could not keep their feet on the door.

Richie Munga, as he sat in the slot for all the games this year, took control of it early on and created a kicking game that repeatedly pinned Brumbis.

But it wasn’t just the Mringa show. Sitting on those ten channels continuously, Brumbis had to hold the defenders on him. His run count this year is amazing, but it’s for another day.

This allowed the Crusaders to bring both David Havili and Will Jordan to both sides of the rack, running and kicking without pressure because the Brumbs did not know exactly where the next attack would come from.

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It was well-arranged and neatly run and did not allow the Brumbs to play.

The Brumbies fought hard again in the end, but the game ended long before the final whistle and won as much as there was grass on the planning table.

Scott Robertson didn’t get it right this year. Juggling the resting minutes of those blacks would be something that someone would call a luxury. From the south of Waitaki we must think so.

But he nailed it, thought the opposite of it, diversified his tactics throughout the 80 minutes to stay as a moving target when they had the ball and set up a wall when they didn’t.

Most importantly, however, he devised a plan to win the main match venues heavily where coach Ian Foster’s All Blacks fell repeatedly last year.

Food for thought, I think.

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