Analysis: How Scotland Outsmarted the All Blacks in the Opening Quarter at Murrayfield

The last few seasons have seen a number of false dawns for this Scotland side. Despite a really energetic and talented squad, "This may well be Scotland's year" is now something we seem to say and hear on an annual basis; we should probably be wary, then, of suggesting that their recent performance against the … Continue reading Analysis: How Scotland Outsmarted the All Blacks in the Opening Quarter at Murrayfield

Opinion: The Tackle Ban Debate Deserves More Sensitive Discussion

Over the past few days, rugby people across the world have been left with an overwhelming sense of déjà vu. Yes, the great concussion debate is raging again, and has once more been inflamed by calls to ban tackling whenever the sport is played in schools. And, just like last time, Professor Allyson Pollock finds herself … Continue reading Opinion: The Tackle Ban Debate Deserves More Sensitive Discussion

Analysis: Four Examples That Show Where The Lions Must Improve

Warren Gatland has been grilled over his coaching style many times before. But rarely has it been so unilaterally criticised, and rarely has he been so rattled by that criticism. His prickly response to a recent question on so-called "Warrenball" painted a picture of a man feeling the pressure. His Wales team (who toured New … Continue reading Analysis: Four Examples That Show Where The Lions Must Improve

Analysis: The Lions Can Stop Barrett, but Aggression Alone Won’t Be Enough

In the wake of the Crusaders' superb victory against the seemingly irrepressible Hurricanes a little over a week ago, much was made about how the British & Irish Lions could learn from the defensive prowess on display in Christchurch. The immovable object of the Canterbury side's defence brilliantly triumphed over what had looked like an … Continue reading Analysis: The Lions Can Stop Barrett, but Aggression Alone Won’t Be Enough

Analysis: Joey Carbery’s Play Shows the Benefits of a Creative Full-Back

In the wake of Ireland's disappointing defeat to Wales midway through the recent Six Nations championship, much was written about Ireland's over-reliance on Johnny Sexton as the side's sole playmaker. When Sexton was on the field, the opinion pieces went, they were too reliant upon him; when he was off it, the side looked lost … Continue reading Analysis: Joey Carbery’s Play Shows the Benefits of a Creative Full-Back

Analysis: Do Ireland Need a Second Playmaker?

Is a problem shared really a problem halved? In rugby terms, it's a divisive issue. Should a coach pick a second playmaker at centre? Is it best to have a barrel-chested ball-carrier outside your fly-half, or another pair of gentle hands? A man o' war, or a metronome? There are several schools of thought in answering … Continue reading Analysis: Do Ireland Need a Second Playmaker?

Analysis: Finn Russell’s Improving Game Management Shows That He is Learning from His Mistakes

In the wake of last weekend's Six Nations fixtures, Italy's controversial showing at Twickenham shared back-page headlines with the stellar performances of Ireland's half-backs. The supremely composed Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton were worthy of the admiration heaped upon them against the French, and there were few arguments when both were named in the Championship's official Team … Continue reading Analysis: Finn Russell’s Improving Game Management Shows That He is Learning from His Mistakes