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
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
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
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?
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
Hello again, everyone! In this series of posts, which I've rather unimaginatively called 'How it was Scored', I'm going to be taking a really close look at how great tries are, well... scored. I'll be picking apart how certain moves are planned, engineered and executed, hoping to give you an insight into how they function. … Continue reading How It Was Scored: What Liam Williams’ Try vs England Might Mean for the Lions
When Jared Payne was withdrawn halfway through Ireland's plucky 27-24 defeat of Australia back in November, the signs were worrying for all present in Dublin. Even setting aside the fact that Robbie Henshaw was absent after a Same Cane hit against the All Blacks, Payne in many ways had become Ireland's defensive general, and to lose … Continue reading Analysis: Ireland’s Defensive Decision-Making and the Return of Andrew Trimble