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Woodster
Woodster (IP Logged)

Kicking ball to opposition
03 December, 2017 18:57
Can I just be clear this is not about our game at Exeter, it is just about how much Bath and other teams kick away possession.

I think Bath do more of it than most (I may be wrong) but whether they do or not I simply do not see the point of kicking ball to the opposition. Surely possession of the ball is key.

Yes kick it form your 22, and kick it late in a game to put the opposition deep in their own half when you're defending a one score lead but why do it otherwise?

Defending is presumably harder than attacking and (possibly) more prone to injuries?

I'm genuinely interested why any team would not want to keep the ball?

 
BathMatt53
BathMatt53 (IP Logged)

Re: Kicking ball to opposition
03 December, 2017 19:18
Well the team who keep it for 20-30 phases every time are champions and leading the prem again...agree there are times for kicking but not as much as it seems to happen especially on dry days. The Newcastle match was the case in point, them, then us and then them flourished during our periods with ball in hand.

 
Woodster
Woodster (IP Logged)

Re: Kicking ball to opposition
03 December, 2017 20:32
I'm sure in most field sports possession is deemed crucial, it may be different in RU but I simply can't see that (in most cases) giving the ball to opponents is a good idea.

I guess the one difference in RU from other field sports is, hunting penalties from the opposition when they are in their own half is understandable as 3 points is quite a reward for some infringements. Apart from that, I simply don't get why teams do it so much.

 
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shipwrecked (IP Logged)

Re: Kicking ball to opposition
03 December, 2017 21:24
Kicking is fine but it it has to be a coordinated plan. The kick thats stays infield needs a good chase so that the kick lands as the chaser arrive, so we are looking for a turnover behind the gain line.

You can also kick with good effect diagonally for the wingers to run on to.

The kick that goes out should be combined with a good chance of stealing the lineout.

George Ford kicks really well and in JJ we have in my mind one of the best kick chasers around. As a club we should be good at it, but it does need practice to get the height right.

Worst offenders for kicking the ball away...usually the scrum half!

 
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joethefanatic (IP Logged)

Re: Kicking ball to opposition
03 December, 2017 21:27
The problem seems to be our decision criterion for the kicks. It seems to be "truck it up a few times with one out carriers and, if stopped behind the gainline, then kick". But this is not what others do. Exeter, for example, don't seem to worry about field position, just on retaining the ball. They probe the defence until the gap is found and then go through it. It requires a very high skill and fitness level not to get turned over but, if you can do that, there's very little the opposition can do about it other than infringe.



... IMHO, of course.

Now in Honolulu

 
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hasta (IP Logged)

Re: Kicking ball to opposition
03 December, 2017 22:06
Possession of the ball is absolutely not critical in rugby union and hasn't been for years (probably dating back to Wasps in 03-04). That being said it's all relative, and if you regularly have <40% possession it's tough to win consistently.

 
by
by (IP Logged)

Re: Kicking ball to opposition
03 December, 2017 22:32
Kicking is fine so long as you end up outside of your half. Exeter, Wasps and Saracens seem to be very confident at playing kick tennis until they come out of it with a positive gain. Exeter in particular are interesting to watch as they'll kick continuously kick down the same 15m channel, rotating their kickers as each one chases.

Obviously Bath don't seem to play like that, we'll kick to compete off 9 or kick long, looking to turn the opposition back 3, not that we did either against Exeter.

 
BathMatt53
BathMatt53 (IP Logged)

Re: Kicking ball to opposition
03 December, 2017 22:33
Critical or not I would far rather we had the ball than the opposition had it...especially with the new rules that mean that you can rarely really stop a good driving attack other than through offside or dropping a maul (or having Flouw in the team and winning the turnover). Now kicking on a night such as when we played Llanelli was obviously definitely the best idea and a different matter altogether.

 
MESSAGES->author
shipwrecked (IP Logged)

Re: Kicking ball to opposition
04 December, 2017 08:24
Having watched the Wales v South Africa match it was notable how Wales ripped SA apart with tactical kicking, it lead to all their tries!

Unfortunately highlights don't show enough to comment on the game against Exeter but it is hard to believe that TB is coaching the wrong tactic. It must be that we are executing the tactic poorly or we are kicking badly because we are under pressure.

 
DorsetBoy
Dorset Boy (IP Logged)

Re: Kicking ball to opposition
04 December, 2017 09:14
We're often very slow to put the actual kick in. We decide to kick, make it patently obvious that is what we are going to do, wait for the ref to say play it, and then use the full 5 seconds before kicking. Meanwhile the opposition have put 5 players in the back field to receive and bring it back to us........

If we didn't allow defences to set it would be more effective.

Quick ball is what gives you opportunities, but we seem to like lots of slow ball.

when we do play quickly (middle period vs Falcons, first 20 vs Quins, last 15 vs Exeter) we score tries.....

 
Boldangrey
Boldangrey (IP Logged)

Re: Kicking ball to opposition
04 December, 2017 10:16
Stats in the Chron say Bath kicked 18 times Ex kicked 13 times.

It's not the number of times you kick, it's where you put it and how you chase it.

 
Danchinho
Danchinho (IP Logged)

Re: Kicking ball to opposition
04 December, 2017 11:02
Feels like we kick because we have no confidence to gain any yards, or we feel we're more likely to give away a penalty /knock on than the opposition are.
When you consider the players we have in the backine, the idea that we're worse with the ball than without it is bemusing.



I probably don't know what i'm talking about.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/12/2017 11:03 by Danchinho.

 
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Which Tyler (IP Logged)

Re: Kicking ball to opposition
04 December, 2017 11:17
Define "defending is harder than attacking" - it's generally considered much easier in terms of skill and organisation, but much harder in terms of fatigue.

As for playing without the ball, the strategy is to either pressure the receiver into making a mistake; cutting down his/her options; or pushing the territory back with the latter probably being the most important, but the former two being the easiest apreciated for the punter.
In a world where you play at high pace, and often in slightly slippery conditions, handling skills are put under pressure, so keeping the ball increases the risk of a knock-on - which results in a scrum and an absolute lottery for who gets the penalty. Equally, rucks end up in penalties not infrequently; and about 50:50 whether it's the attacking or defending team that gives it away.
AKA Penalties for no real "fault" are part and parcel of the game these days; so let's keep the ball outside of kicking range for the opponent.

Further to that, each time an offside line is created, the defenders stand flat on that line, whilst the attackers kick out at a steeper angle in order to come onto the ball at pace. The defenders also have the opportunity to rush up in defence quicker thand the attackers who haven't received the ball yet - meaning that if the attackers move the ball away from contact, and fail to reach the outside, or break a tackle - then the gain line is pushed back, often by a decent margin.
AKA away from the immediate vacinity of the breakdown, it's easier to gain territory in defence than in attack - if well drilled. The risk is that miss a tackle, or the attacker gets the ball wide quicker than you rush up - both of which are faults with the defensive alingment, which is within yor own control.

If you combine pushing the gainline back by kicking the ball - doubling down on that by chasing well, or finding turf with the kick; and then pushing the gainline back with each successive wide phase - you can see why the tactic appeals.
This has been the case since the Wasps' rush defence of the Gatland-Edwards era (10 years); and perfected by Saracens of the Venter-McCall era (8 years and counting) - and is what we are trying to do under Todd.
To succeed, you have to be exceptionally well drilled in defence, give that system multiple years to perfect, including recruitment of the right players, and pre-season (not to mention mid-season) fitness tailored specifically to the tactic. We threw out our defensive patterns, and started Todd's around Januray/February of 2017.

Exeter are taking an alternative approach, and whilst they still kick a lot, they probably treat the point on the pitch that it's worth doing so as their own 10m line, rather than the half-way line. They have a big meaty pack, and keep the ball tight in to the breakdown, meaning that they don't get pushed back so far by a rush defence; but they keep working the margins - where the gainline success is closer to 50:50; but they trust themselves to be in support enough that they don't get penalised for holding on; whilst trying to encourage the defenders to give up a penalty. This tactic means the the gainline is relatively static, until you're pulled enough of the opposition pack into the previous 1-2 phases, or they retreated back onside left instead of right; and they've ended up with the defending team's halfback defending the pick-and-go and they can rumble over him, and make 5-15 metres before resetting and either starting again, or spreading it wide to see if anyone's being lazy in getting back into position.

TBH, both tactics are pretty dull to watch - but it's hard to argue their effectiveness (especially Exeter's with this year's law changes meaning that tight phases are much less risky than they used to be).



A man who cannot change his mind, cannot change anything
http://www.rugbyrebels.co/board/download/file.php?id=377
RAEBURN SHIELD




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/12/2017 11:24 by Which Tyler.

 
DorsetBoy
Dorset Boy (IP Logged)

Re: Kicking ball to opposition
04 December, 2017 11:24
Which - the penalty count at the breakdown certainly isn't 50:50, it's more like 70:30 against the defence with the attackers regularly entering from the side (do you EVER see that penalized?) or from in front of the ball, and they regularly go off their feet.

Pretty much the only breakdown penalty the attack give away is hold on.

I think most people understand the need to play in the right areas of the pitch - ie inside your own 40, then a kick game is pretty sensible, but you need urgency and also need to mix things up.

 
MESSAGES->author
spongey (IP Logged)

Re: Kicking ball to opposition
04 December, 2017 11:31
The frustrating thing about us kicking possession away is we actually look good when we really try and attack. We've been reliant on our defence all season and we finally came up against a team that could break it apart. In the last two games we scored 4 tries in basically 40 minutes. The other 120 minutes we played with little urgency, just sat on our lead against Quins and refused to play against Exeter.

We have incredibly skillful players not only in our backs but our forward pack too. This team looks like it should be set up for champagne rugby but instead we refuse to try and do anything within our own half. God I hate box kicking outside the 22.

 
MESSAGES->author
Which Tyler (IP Logged)

Re: Kicking ball to opposition
04 December, 2017 11:38
Quote:
Dorset Boy
Which - the penalty count at the breakdown certainly isn't 50:50, it's more like 70:30 against the defence with the attackers regularly entering from the side (do you EVER see that penalized?) or from in front of the ball, and they regularly go off their feet.
Fair enough, though I'd say 70:30 is more one-sided than I'd believe (given the absence of actual stat.s here) - let's compromise and call it 60:40?
Either way, you really don't want to give up penalties in your own half; and it's easier to make ground without the ball than with it.



A man who cannot change his mind, cannot change anything
http://www.rugbyrebels.co/board/download/file.php?id=377
RAEBURN SHIELD

 
by
by (IP Logged)

Re: Kicking ball to opposition
04 December, 2017 11:42
Also worth mentioning that if you watch the game last year where we beat Exeter we were very successful with our box kicking.

 
Woodster
Woodster (IP Logged)

Re: Kicking ball to opposition
04 December, 2017 12:41
Quote:
Which Tyler
Define "defending is harder than attacking" - it's generally considered much easier in terms of skill and organisation, but much harder in terms of fatigue.

Yes, I was referring to fatigue and whether either the fatigue or the increase in tackle count resulted more injuries.

Thanks for your detailed explanation WT, it makes a lot of sense. I guess there is a fine line of when to use the kick tactic and I'm often frustrated when (to me at least) the tactic is used in the wrong areas of the pitch.

 
Martlet75
Martlet75 (IP Logged)

Re: Kicking ball to opposition
04 December, 2017 12:52
Quote:
shipwrecked
George Ford kicks really well and in JJ we have in my mind one of the best kick chasers around. As a club we should be good at it, but it does need practice to get the height right.


Erm... who's going to tell him?

 
ballsout
ballsout (IP Logged)

Re: Kicking ball to opposition
04 December, 2017 13:04
Quote:
spongey
The frustrating thing about us kicking possession away is we actually look good when we really try and attack. We've been reliant on our defence all season and we finally came up against a team that could break it apart. In the last two games we scored 4 tries in basically 40 minutes. The other 120 minutes we played with little urgency, just sat on our lead against Quins and refused to play against Exeter.
We have incredibly skillful players not only in our backs but our forward pack too. This team looks like it should be set up for champagne rugby but instead we refuse to try and do anything within our own half. God I hate box kicking outside the 22.

This.

Also it's not just booting the ball away, or grubbering posession away like Tapuai and especially JJ love to do, our ball retention in general is just terrible. We can't look after it. The second half against Quins was a prime example.

 
by
by (IP Logged)

Re: Kicking ball to opposition
04 December, 2017 13:36
Exeter have the confidence to go 20-25 phases making little ground, we don't.

 
MESSAGES->author
jayeatman (IP Logged)

Re: Kicking ball to opposition
04 December, 2017 14:20
Quote:
by
Exeter have the confidence to go 20-25 phases making little ground, we don't.

This.

We tried to play Exeter's game on Saturday and failed miserably. We were like rabbits in a car's headlights. If you are going to play their game, you have to be confident of keeping the ball for many phases and not be going backwards. Neither of which we seem to be able to do.

If anything there wasn't enough tactical kicking and what kicking we did do, box kicks or kick tennis was poor. We didn't try the little dink over the top until later in the game. When we did, it worked. This, and 'give the ball to Roko ASAP' should have been the tactic all through.



BATH supporter since 1975

Adopted players:
2015/6 Tom Homer
2016/7 Matt Banahan
2017/8 Jeff Williams

 
MESSAGES->author
hasta (IP Logged)

Re: Kicking ball to opposition
04 December, 2017 14:22
Quote:
by
Exeter have the confidence to go 20-25 phases making little ground, we don't.

I'd add precision to that too. Our ability to get isolated or knock on is the really frustrating thing for me.

 
MESSAGES->author
hasta (IP Logged)

Re: Kicking ball to opposition
04 December, 2017 14:28
It's irritating because we've tried a few attacking variants this season. Loops with Khan, chips from Freddie, as Opti pointed out a perfectly executed diamond for Banners bp try, Roko at first receiver, etc. We've got some great set plays and I'd say we're using them with the right frequency (rather than overusing the diamond to death and predictability with Mike Ford). Our problem seems to be our main attack pattern which is... a bit blunt to say the least.

 
Bathovalballer
Bathovalballer (IP Logged)

Re: Kicking ball to opposition
05 December, 2017 12:38
Any Rugby attack needs a vital piece to succeed. A regular supply of good, clean, quick ball from a pack of forwards going forward. End of.

It is unusual for any rugby side to consistently thrive without the fundamental possession, even with an international back line like ours.

 
MESSAGES->author
Which Tyler (IP Logged)

Re: Kicking ball to opposition
05 December, 2017 12:46
Which, of coufrse, is why Australia have been in the international wilderness for the last 12 years



A man who cannot change his mind, cannot change anything
http://www.rugbyrebels.co/board/download/file.php?id=377
RAEBURN SHIELD

 
Boldangrey
Boldangrey (IP Logged)

Re: Kicking ball to opposition
05 December, 2017 13:59
Quote:
Bathovalballer
Any Rugby attack needs a vital piece to succeed. A regular supply of good, clean, quick ball from a pack of forwards going forward. End of.
It is unusual for any rugby side to consistently thrive without the fundamental possession, even with an international back line like ours.

NZ did OK against Wales.

 
MESSAGES->author
hasta (IP Logged)

Re: Kicking ball to opposition
05 December, 2017 14:04
Wales got absolutely hammered up front against South Africa this weekend. And won.

 
Bathovalballer
Bathovalballer (IP Logged)

Re: Kicking ball to opposition
05 December, 2017 14:29
Two examples of where the norm didn't apply. OK lads you win!

So you expect Bath Rugby to win trophies and leagues, over a length of time or shall we say a season, by consistently going without a decent share of retained possession? Now that would be truly exceptional.

 
MESSAGES->author
hasta (IP Logged)

Re: Kicking ball to opposition
05 December, 2017 14:47
Wasps won Prem titles and Heineken Cups with a substandard forward pack...
Sarries regularly win with less than 50% possession, as do the All Blacks.

There are many different ways to win rugby games and old perceptions, particularly about possession, are highly out of date.

Which doesn't mean to say that we are executing our game plan well. Or that our general attack pattern isn't as blunt as a spoon.


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