Turnover ball is counter-attack ball.
Team A is attacking, one of their players goes to ground just past Team B’s 10 metre line. Team B’s openside flanker enters the ruck first and steals the ball he then passes it to his fly-half. Team B’s fly-half has spotted acres of space behind Team A and kicks long trying to gain as much territory as possible. He makes almost a 50 metre gain on the kick. His team are now playing in the right part of the field and he gets a pat on the back from his teammates. This is Domkrag rugby. You have just kicked away turnover ball.
Had the fly-half from Team B assessed the situation better he would have seen outside him were all his speedsters ready to run onto the ball while Team A only had forwards out wide. The option should have been to run at Team A. Weighing up your options is not a case of one being the wrong option. It is sometimes a case of one being a good option but another being an even better option. This is modern rugby.
Let us talk about the defence putting you under pressure.
Team A have been playing expansive rugby and have strung together about 5 performances playing this way. Team B have taken note of how well Team A have been playing. Team B are really pumped up for this match against Team A. In the match Team B close down Team A so fast it panics them into making mistakes. Team B benefit from these mistakes and win the game. After the game the coach of Team A says that they shouldn’t have tried to play expansive rugby but should rather have used the boot to gain territory. They should have played a tactically superior game. This is Domkrag rugby.
Instead of abandoning expansive rugby, the coach of Team A could have looked at how they could have made it work. The key to going wide is first going forward. How do you generate go forward ball. If a press defence is catching you way behind the gain line, it means at source the ball being given to the backline is not go forward ball. This is where coaches earn their money, they work out a way to generate go forward ball. The aim of rugby is to score tries whether you are having an armchair ride or if you are under the cosh. So why would you abandon that aim? This is modern rugby.
Sometimes you have to face a hurricane head-on and prove you are capable of withstanding whatever they throw at you. Once you have defeated their spirit then you land the killer assault. Panic kicking is the same as putting your tail between your legs and running for your life.
Trying to close a game out from the 60th minute.
Time and time again I have seen SA teams get a healthy lead , 20-30 points ahead and then at the 60 minute mark the other team start a comeback that in some instances has overturned this lead. Many SA fans blame this on fitness. Which may or may not be a factor but the truth is at this 60 minute mark the team stop trying to score tries with the intent to play ideal rugby but decide rather to kick for territory aiming to keep their opponents pinned down in their own half. This is Domkrag rugby
If you have been getting the better of a team by playing a certain way for 60 minutes why not continue playing that way right through to the 80th minute? Why try close a game out with so much time on the clock? Games should be closed out in the last 30 seconds of a game.
If you were in a boxing match and you landed several good shots on your opponent and had him on the ropes, everyone would expect you to carry on until you had him knocked out. If you suddenly stepped back and covered your head and defended the rest of the round to close out the round I’m sure your trainer would be a bit upset with you.
More in Part 5