Monday May 2, 2016

Rugby Tactics: The Art of Attacking the Transition Zone

Rugby Tactics: The Art of Attacking the Transition Zone
8
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The Transition Zone is widely regarded as the area where the ruck defence links with the wider defensive formation. It’s a particular area of weakness as it’s the one point in modern Defensive Systems where teams essentially have two focuses of attention.

These two separate, almost clashing, responsibilities can often lead to a disconnect between the Ruck Guard defenders and the first defender in the line, often leaving that player covering a large area of space and feeling isolated.

Good attacking teams will be ready to exploit that disconnect and in the video we see how Kurtley Beale’s ability to straighten the attack, and use team mates around him often leads his team exploit this area with either a line break, or at the very least bending the defensive line backwards folding them in creating space further out.

We also see how this imbalance is particularly present in midfield defensive situations, including how the Chiefs use its occurrence at a midfield scrum to smash open the fragile Western Forces defence.

It’s more than just the inside ball, or attacking the inside shoulder though and it’s one of the few areas of defensive weakness that is present at every level of the game, from International Rugby right down to the local grassroots club.

Any team able to recognise when the opportunity to attack there is on can reap huge rewards.

As always please feel free to leave feedback, comments or suggestions for videos below.

About The Deadballarea

An Englishman living in France, Graeme Forbes runs Rugby Analysis website, thedeadballarea.com.

An IRB qualified coach, in his spare time he helps coach a junior men’s team in Paris. You can catch him on twitter lazily re-tweeting other peoples comments and the Green and Gold Rugby website where he contributes Super 15 and Wallabies based analysis articles.

8 Comments

  •  thedeadballarea
    thedeadballarea

    Carwyn James - he and Jim Greenwood changed the sport for ever.

    Reply
  •  larry
    larry

    Well, it takes having backs that are thinking, not just reacting, and able to change their options quickly as any gaps in the defense appear. Carwyn James pointed that out many years ago. To quote: "All I am saying is that you can do anything in the world provided you have the players who can take the ball and pass it, who can handle. Then ploys are easy; the moves, the gimmicks, call them what you like."

    Reply
  •  10stonenumber10
    10stonenumber10

    I bet you have got a lethal spin pass

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    Good thing I've always got my Right Hand Man with me. Well, my right hand.

    Reply
  •  thedeadballarea
    thedeadballarea

    sadly it's not a skill that can really be coached. I find it's best to cut your losses, write it off as a bad performance and do your pre-analysis ahead of your next opponent.

    Reply
  •  thedeadballarea
    thedeadballarea

    I agree to a certain degree, bu the Australian try I use in the Video is actually a set move, called "randwick", they've been using it for years.

    Reply
  •  larry
    larry

    Basically the video is just pointing out that taking advantage of an inside gap, close to where the tackle occurred, is one way of attacking. I think the most important aspect of this is getting quick ball, and not allowing ball to sit still at the back of a so-called ruck for the defenses to set up in the first place. Redirecting attack from mid-field works well too, obviously, but I question how to run that sort of move in training. It's the type of play that needs some off the cuff creativity more than rehearsed running in training with no or partial defenders, in my opinion. Communicating between backs that there's a gap opening on one side or the other of the field is very key to these moves working out in the first place, to have the point of attack switched to the other direction. I'm reminded somewhat of a move that England tried in the World Cup final of 1991, when ball won in midfield was spun out left first, then Guscott came running behind in the opposite direction to take a long scissors pass to hook up with his wing moving diagonally right, with most of the Australian defense drifting to its right. It didn't result in a try, but it did gain good amount of ground in the process.

    Reply
  •  danknapp
    danknapp

    Can TDBA do a video about getting out of the Friend Zone? Thanks.

    Reply

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Rugby Tactics: The Art of Attacking the Transition Zone | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos