Scared?

Discussion in 'European Champions & Challenge Cup' started by Dave Davies, Jan 19, 2019.

  1. Dave Davies

    Dave Davies Senior Member

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    Hey, my friends,

    Another quick question from a ruggers newcomer:

    Watching Edinburgh v Montpelier right now. I notice my beloved Edinburgh side is taking penalty kicks rather than going for the corner every single time. I don’t mind, as we’re up 9-0 at 35 minutes...

    But does that strategy “mean something”? i.e. if you always want to “take the points when they’re on offer,” does that indicate you think your team need all the help they can get? Are they (gulp) scared?

    Thanks as always,

    Dave
     
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  3. Bruce_ma_goose

    Bruce_ma_goose Senior Member

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    For me, not necessarily. It means you trust your goal kicker (questionable with Edinburgh with VDW) and you trust your defence enough for you to be able to win while scoring less than say 25 points.

    If I'm a coach and I have a kickable penalty I'd only kick to the corner in an even scored game if a few of the following apply:

    i) the opponents have been penalised a lot and I want to try and force a yellow card
    ii) my kicker isn't great
    iii) my maul is my strength and the opponents maul defence isn't a strength
    iv) I need a BP
    v) my hooker isn't Malcolm Marx (McInally's lineout isn't rock solid in my opinion)

    Otherwise it is a kick at goal for me. I haven't seen the Edinburgh game, but I imagine Cockerill is thinking that the French will have a big beefy pack that they can't bully at lineout and maul. In sport it is better to win and be considered scared. The world is littered with brave losers.
     
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  4. snoopy snoopy dog dog

    snoopy snoopy dog dog Senior Member

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    Different teams have different strategies. Taking 3 when they're on offer is the pragmatic approach. Build a lead and make the opposition chase the game. If you've a simple shot at goal early in the game, it's hard to turn down.

    For example, by taking a shot at goal every time from a penalty inside the opponents 10 metre line it could result in 2.5 points on average per attempt (I'm making up these numbers). If a team goes to the corner every time, it could result in an average of, say, 3.2 points per attempt. In such a case, the statistically positive thing to do is take a kick to the corner because overall, despite not scoring every time, it'll yield better results. Leinster seem to adhere to this strategy quite a bit, turning down simple shots at goal for a potentially higher reward.

    If however you have a 6 point lead with 10 minutes remaining and get a penalty in front of the posts, you take the pragmatic approach, kick your 3 points and have a 2 score lead.

    In short, it depends on circumstances. Edinburgh won well so their strategy worked. It's great to see them get a home quarter final and hopefully they can get a huge crowd to Murrayfield for it.
     
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  5. Old Hooker

    Old Hooker Senior Member

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    The game’s won by the team that scores more points than the other, not by who scores most tries, makes the boldest decisions or weaves the prettiest patterns.

    Obviously it all depends on the game situation, but I’m generally a firm fan of taking points when on offer and applying scoreboard pressure, especially early on before the game opens up. It might not be spectacular rugby but it’s smart rugby and one of the reasons why St Jonny of Wilkinson is so revered over here.

    Of course gambling for the try looks great when it comes off and the captain’s hailed a genius. More usually they’re hailed a Robshaw.
     
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  6. Jimbo

    Jimbo Senior Member

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    Couldn’t agree more just keep the scoreboard ticking over, if a teams dominated the scoreboard via the boot, it can be a massive psychological edge later on in the game.
     
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  7. Dave Davies

    Dave Davies Senior Member

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    As always, incredibly valuable and insightful comments. I’m a newbie, but it seems to me that there’s a parallel between this beautiful sport and the incredible people who enjoy it. If this was an NFL forum, these replies would never be so friendly and helpful. Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my little queries! :)
     
  8. Amiga500

    Amiga500 Senior Member

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    I think by and by large the percentage option is always go to for the 3 points.

    Over a given match that may be reversed, but over any more than say 3 matches, I'd expect the trend to establish itself.

    Decent kickers are what, ~80%? 3 x 0.8 = 2.4

    A really good lineout/maul might work, say, ~30% of the time? 7 x 0.3 = 2.1 [Assuming 100% kicking too which is questionable]
     
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  9. scotty507

    scotty507 Senior Member

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    Did you watch the chiefs munster game yesterday?

    Munster won with 9 - 7.

    They kicked three penalties and exeter kicked to the corner alot of times to only get 1 try.

    We needed to win by more than 7 points to go through but decided to try to get the big win than keep it ticking over. It has work for chiefs many times but didnt this time.
     
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  10. Amiga500

    Amiga500 Senior Member

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    I think the Chiefs were a bit naive to the step up in quality of opposition.

    I mean that with absolutely no disrespect to the Premiership - for instance - would the Chiefs have kicked to the corner all day against Saracens?
     
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  11. scotty507

    scotty507 Senior Member

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    Yes tbh they have done already, the chiefs keep alot of ball and kick to the corner.
     
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  12. Dave Davies

    Dave Davies Senior Member

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    That was an incredibly intense match, loved it! Great example, as well. The same was said about the Kiwi's Autumn matches, lots of hubris always going for the corner... Thanks again!
     
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