Road to the 2021 rugby championship
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SANZAAR recently announced the confirmation of the Rugby Championship 2021 with a 12-game format, including South Africa.
With four teams on the scene, the panorama is once again competitive and demanding for all and in several aspects simultaneously.
If we transfer what has been seen in Super Rugby New Zealand and Super Rugby AU to the possible All Blacks-Wallabies clash in Rugby Championship 2021, we would see a faster match but with more penalties and turnovers conceded per match, due to the speed imprecision.
The adoption of the attack pattern through two pilots is aimed at ensuring possession and control of the ball at a higher speed.
To reach this stage Australia need a better alternative based on improving contact and aerial play and replacing and consolidating young men in key positions such as full back or half-opener.
South Africa, the last world champion, has not played in international competitions since the 2019 World Cup.
With the integration of South African teams into the old European PRO14 (currently Rainbow Cup), many players have returned to the activity which, beyond the decline in the quality of the game, is important to keep a team aligned. on its central objective: to compete.
Something similar is happening with Argentina, with a year plagued by hardships caused by COVID-19 and its squad dismembered between major European and Australian clubs.
Can they maintain and develop the competitive advantage based on the dominance of defense they achieved in Rugby Championship 2020?
This is the question we all ask ourselves and the answer is fairly general and common to all participants: any improvement must necessarily be linked to the identity of the game and its cultural roots, while always approaching the game. precision and dizziness that characterize it. today to test rugby.
To perform a comparative task between the abilities of the participants throughout the editions of the competition (2012-2020), I developed a comparative attack indicator that considers and weighs in a compound manner the marked / received essays (efficiency indicator ), clean breaks and defeated defenders (strength indicator) and header line gain and positive tackles (relative strength indicator).
The attacking variables (scored tries, clear breaks and defenders beaten) are given a weighting of 60%, while the defense variables (positive tackles) or negative sides of the attacking aspects (tries against) are weighted by 40%. .
Being an indicator that clearly “ rewards ” attacking situations, we see a predominance of New Zealand in the tries against ratio (+123) which pushes the indicator up, followed far behind by Australia and the ‘South Africa (2020 without participation) and finally Argentina, which notably improved its defensive organization by subjecting New Zealand and Australia to situations of high stress.
Those walking behind New Zealand clearly know the list of things to check out to deactivate the All Black machine:
- Structure a solid defense
- Obtain and develop possession
- Optimize the attack from stopped parts
- Quickly earn breakdown and cycling, or prevent it from slowing down the opponent.
New Zealanders and Australians have a certain advantage over Argentina and South Africa as their teams and players compete against each other on a regular basis and are in a better position to coordinate roles and hone skills.
But it was Argentina who took the first steps and a noticeable change based on defensive optimization, showing a 13-2 structure (13 in line and two in the background) that disrupted the attack dynamic of the New Zealand.
Anyone who succeeds in executing the alternation and status changes between offense and defense will undoubtedly have the best chance of making history.