Month: March 2016

Ulster Schools’ Cup Final: RBAI vs. Campbell College

Ulster Schools’ Cup Final: RBAI vs. Campbell College

RBAI emerged victorious in Thursday’s Schools’ Cup Final on the back of a tenacious defensive effort in a second half where Campbell had an overwhelming majority of territory and possession. Inst scrambled on numerous occasions to keep the East Belfast school from crossing their line, and Campbell were unable to find answers with ball in hand. They will perhaps rue the lack of a front-line goalkicker in their starting 15, as Inst’s aggressive approach at the breakdown – effective in spoiling the opposition’s opportunities for quick ball for much of the match – at times strayed into indiscipline, and led to a high second-half penalty count which Campbell were unable to exploit.

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Try analysis: Chiefs vs. Southern Kings, 12 Mar

The Chiefs broke away from the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth towards the end of the first half of last weekend’s Round 3 match, having made hard work of the opening half an hour. Their defence of the Kings’ driving maul, some uncharacteristic handling errors and the concession of soft penalties allowed the home side to keep in touch until Damian McKenzie touched down on 32 minutes. They added four second half tries to their three in the first, and Charlie Ngatai’s midfield break on first phase ball to open the scoring in the second period exemplified what the New  Zealand franchise have tried to do in attack so far this Super Rugby season.

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Attack analysis: Ireland vs. England, 27 Feb

England have operated an impressive defence in this year’s 6 Nations, and in the 3 games so far it has been the platform for their success: the intensity that Paul Gustard’s scheme has injected into their play makes it difficult for opponents to get on to the front foot in attack, and with the ball they have been able to feed off the turnover opportunities it creates. Athletes like George Kruis, Maro Itoje and James Haskell thrive in a system that requires them to work off the line, cut down space and win physical battles in the contact area; on the outside, Owen Farrell and Jonathan Joseph couple similarly sound physical capabilities in the tackle with excellent lateral movement and tracking of runners.

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