<div class='quotemain'> i think teams want to play the final as a tight, defense orientated game as thats how they percieved the game to be. A test of discipline. What if they go into a finals game with a strategy of throwing the ball around? maybe its an elimination of the risks factor and the pressures of whats at stake?
but with that said, england at times tried to play to a style that was different to the one that got them into the final, that equaled to some mistakes, i guess its an adaptation, teams automatically think that both will play tight and hence this kicking back and forth, pick and go style, i guess they wanted to exploit the boks in that aspect but it didn't work coz it was their style.
What if one final, one team surprised the other by playing some expansive footy, will it stuff up the others defensive strategies? and will it result in a free flowing type of game? [/b]
The reason England tried to play running rugby was because thier lineout was completely ineffective. To play an effective 10 man/kicking game you need to be able to control your own lineout. Without getting clean ball from the lineout you can't control possession. South Africa just forced their hand and England changed their style. And as you could see they were incapable of playing running rugby. SA weren't even playing a rush defence most of the night, they were just playing a simple drift defence.
England did put it through the hands against Aus as well, but to no great effect.
Ireland and Aus rely a lot on quick ball off the lineout, because their main attack is in midfield and that phase of play gives 20m of attacking space - but neither succeeded. If you made defences back off a similar distance at scrums and rucks, it'd be the same difference. Defences are just too tight.
It's the same rules as last year, but this time a bunch of teams turned up intent on kicking it high or long, starting with Argentina. There was no pre-tournament evidence it would end up this way. God knows why. And the new rule about passing back in to the 22 won't make a difference, because teams were happy just to thump the ball back down the middle of the pitch and hope for a mistake/turnover.
Maybe bring in Aussie Rules, where a clean catch anywhere on the pitch is a mark. The only risk to the catching team is a knock on. And there's no point in kicking it back long because of the offside rule - the chasing players just wouldn't arrive in time to force a mistake. And no point kicking it high because you're ceding territory on balance.
Got to say, I was sick of watching players catch it deep, run forward, then slow down and dip the head in preparation for yet another hoof.
Probably the best thing we can hope for is that coaches are now done with that tactic, and go about figuring a more effective way of playing. Over to you, NZ.