Name A D T TR m RM/m Average RM OPI OPI/m
Mako 24 6 30 17 64 0.47 1.76 38 0.59
George 43 9 52 28 64 0.81 1.86 45 0.70
Cole 29 5 34 19 58 0.59 1.79 30 0.52
Launch 39 0 39 20 52 0.75 1.95 38 0.73
Itoje 69 13 82 44 84 0.98 1.86 63 0.75
Lawes 28 6 34 18 84 0.40 1.89 50 0.60
Robshaw 52 34 86 35 84 1.02 2.46 50 0.60
Hughes 11 30 14 7 24 0.58 2.00 11 0.46
LCD 31 6 37 16 20 1.85 2.31 29 1.45
Marler 35 0 35 16 20 1.75 2.19 20 1.00
Sinckler 15 4 19 9 26 0.73 2.11 28 1.08
Haskell 26 1 27 13 32 0.84 2.08 26 0.81
Simmonds 32 5 37 19 60 0.62 1.95 39 0.65
A = Attacking ruck marks
D = Defensive ruck marks
T = Total ruck marks
TR = Total rucks
m = Minutes
RM = Ruck marks
OPI = Overall Positive Interactions (total rucks, tackles, carries, defenders beaten, minus missed tackles, penalties, turnovers etc) Lineout data not included.
So with the final read out!
In my mind you'd expect average RM to be around 2 for a decent performance, much lower and there's issues.
OPI does not include lineouts taken or stolen, that would boost some players scores, and rightly so. Nor does it include scrums, which will drain front row and locks more than others.
Play Lawes at lock, he's simply not active enough in the breakdown to be a blindside. Get a proper blindside to make up for the lost workrate in the breakdown from losing one of the other locks (or bring Lawes on after 55/60, when replacements are full of energy, think this is the best option).
Itoje had a huge game all round.
Simmonds needs to work in wider spaces, I don't think he suits us at 8, but even with a slow start in the first half, I'd still like to see him at 7, I don't think his clearouts are that good, but he has the pace to be first man, which makes it less of an important issue. Obviously with no Hughes or BV, it's not really an option.
Our replacements brought some real energy in the carry and clearout. Does that mean they should start? Perhaps in some cases, but I don't think it's usually fair to compare someone who knows they've only got a limited amount of time, they will always produce a more energetic performance.
I think George put his hand up well. Maybe not much of the flashy stuff, but certainly a very solid performance that doesn't compare badly to Hartley's workrate in the ruck or tackle, looked more energetic to me.
All that said, our breakdown isn't good enough. With 116 attacking rucks, we were first around 61 times. Basically 50% of the time there was a Frenchman at our ruck before we were! Add on relatively poor clearouts, often taking 2+ players to remove a threat, which really ruins the quick and lightly resourced ruck play we seem to be targeting.
There was a large difference at half time with regards to our attitude towards opposition rucks, suddenly we were targeting them, not necessarily very well for the most part, but we did, and I think it helped. I hope we continue with that.
I'd probably bring Joseph back in, I don't think Teo added much, and Joseph has better hands and defence.
I do think our attack can look very sharp, and if we can play the way we want, we'll be dangerous, but teams aren't just going to lie down and let us. If we're over training and tired, then it'll come good, if not, we're in trouble and need to adapt our play.
Ruck marks come from an idea by the Demented Mole blog, linked here: https://dementedmole.com/2013/10/30/ruck-marks/
Carry marks are a first time try to try and grade carries, and get away from a meaningless Meters Carried score breakdown here:
First we need to decide what we're classing as a carry, I'd suggest: Not 2 steps forwards, a mile away from the defence and a pass, but getting to a defender and either beating him or getting tackled. Or a clean break through the defensive line (and no one quite lays a hand on you).
1 - A carry, but taken behind the gainline and taken down fast. 1 mark is to show that at least you're offering yourself for work.
2 - Reach the gainline basically, get taken down quickly, or taken behind the gainline but hold your feet for long enough for support to arrive.
3 - Either bend the gainline before going down, reach the gainline but into a good body position (long reach placement to make it harder to turn over and give quicker cleaner ball), reach the gainline but hold your feet for enough time for good support to arrive.
4 - Make solid yards past the gainline, normally going to take a defender being beaten (but not essential and not important to the scoring). Make it harder for a counter ruck to to the speed of the ball available and being on the front foot.
5 - Clean break, either a great running line or great attacking work to beat defenders to make the break.
Key points to remember. Phase play we're looking for the gainline basically, but on kick return a good running return would effectively replace the word gainline for first contact, with a 1 being for if you get knocked back by the tackler, rather than going forwards (even if you then get dragged back a little). Set piece play would also need to be on first contact, but it's a trickier aspect to judge, so maybe get some practice and see what seems fair?
Full breakdown + notes and thoughts
Mako 1,2,1,1,1,2,3,2,2,2,2 11/19
George 3,1,3,2,2,1,2,1,2,1,2,1,2,2,2 15/27
Cole 2,4,2,2,1,2,2,2,1,1,2,1 12/22
Launch 3,2,2,1,1,2,1,2,3,1,2,3,3,2,2 15/30
Itoje 2,2,2,1,2,2,2,2,2,2,1,2,2,2,3,1,2,2,2,1,2 21/39
Lawes 1,2,2,2,1,2,2 7/12
Robshaw 2,1,2,2,2,2,2,1,2,2 10/18
Hughes 2,2,1,2,2,2 6/11
Simmonds 2,2 2/4
Mako 3 1/3
Cole 2 1/2
Itoje 2 1/2
Lawes 1 1/1
Robshaw 3,2,5 3/10
Hughes 3 1/3
00.50 Who's man is that? Does Hughes cut in to hit the 10, leaving the 8 clear, or is that Daly's man? I know it was forward because of the high pressure Hughes put on, but if that offload had come off, or he'd got the pass away quicker, then we're in trouble.
4.15, I'm classing that as a maul, not a ruck, so not giving ruck marks. Good work from Mako to rip it clear though.
5.23 Lawes is moving when he takes the ball, gets to the gainline, but stopped, 2 point carry in my mind.
5.30 Cheeky pickup from Hughes. Is this a 3 or a 4 carry? I'll give a 3, but think it's easily argued to a 4?
5.36 Robshaw just gets a 2 trying the same trick as Hughes, lucky not to end up a 1 if he'd have been taken back further.
5.41 Lawes with another 2, makes the gainline, but makes no impression on it.
5.59 Launch with a pass out the back, sent onto Robshaw, who gets stopped hard behind the gainline. Itoje really fluffing his lines at the breakdown, not giving him anything for that.
6.29 What are we calling that carry? 1 or 2? Keeps his feet for a while and is only a meter away from which in theory should give the support time and gave a nice long placement of the ball, but France still make a mess of it, not his fault that our support wasn't on him so recording as a 2 for now. Why the ref didn't blow up for Fra 5 playing the ball off his feet I wasn't sure then, and I'm still not now.
7.05 Giving Robshaw a 3 for this carry.
9.00 Lawes gets the block on the boxkick, not sure if that goes into stats anywhere, but should count towards positive interactions. He also made the steal in the lineout not too long before this.
10.12 Launch gets over the gainline, French prop doesn't come close to rolling away, and Launch gets done for holding on, awful call I reckon. Though why was the support so far to start, and why was Cole hesitating so much before going into the ruck. Like he was waiting for the French player to get into position, so he could clear him out (or try to). Cole and Watson get 1s there, Itoje gets nothing, he's not really attending that ruck, he's just watching it from close by.
12.18 Unsympathetic from Farrell there, really seemed to whizz it into Daly, who didn't seem to be expecting it.
17.56 Happens to be Launch again, 2 scoring carry, but the French tackler completely disrupts the clearout, but the clearout still wasn't much use.
21m What a weapon Daly's boot is. We're competing at the opposition breakdown even less than usual at the moment.
22m Hughes goes down, you hear the cry of pain over the ref mike.
26.50 George makes a carry, gets tackled behind the gainline, but keeps crawling, until it forces Garces to go back to a pen advantage. Giving him a 1.
28.45 What are we calling that? 1 or 2? Sort of goes past the first tackler, but bent back to him, then a nice long placement. Marking as a 2 for now.
29.03 I feel embarassed for Lawes there. The replay just shows how poorly positioned he was, the 9 could have knocked him back there.
29.17 Just to say I think Fords defence has been pretty much first class so far, he's a small guy sure, but he's getting players down, even the big guys. Losing yards, sure, but he's far from a turnstile.
30.18. Talking about Ford, Basta on a huge charge, Ford and Farrell go high and low respectively, and he makes maybe 4 yards in contact, well contained.
30.40 We're just letting them play with quick ball here
31.20 From the lineout around 30.10, we've just let them play with fast ball, with only Cole having a small nibble. Unsurprisingly they got within 5, and had a pen advantage, only Machenaud suffering from brain freeze saved us there.
For the most part we still refuse to engage the defensive ruck, even with half chances showing themselves, we could help our cause so much I feel. Our attack has flashes, but ball tends to be too slow to exploit the defence.
Half time reached. Robshaw having a quieter game than usual at the breakdown, but providing a lot of carries. Itoje doing a lot at the breakdown (a lot very early in the game, now more normal paced). Mako seems a bit more lively, as does Cole, not by a huge amount, but a bit. A lot of it could of course simply be the game falling their way. The first 10 minutes had Itoje seemingly at every other ruck, does that mean he's the perfect 7? Of course not, just that sometimes the game falls your way. The same can be said with tackles, you can't make the opposition run down your channel. So whilst these analyses are useful, they should also be looked at across a few games, to see trends, since single instances aren't going to be enough to draw large conclusions.
Whilst there's a lot of things that if it's down to heavy training, could turn around a lot of our game, our near refusal to compete on opposition ball seems to be a gameplan, and it's going to cost us points, maybe if we had Willis in there at 7 (not suggesting he's ready) we'd change our attitude a bit? From memory, we do seem to try a bit more at the breakdown in the 2nd half (same as Scotland I think). In fact, maybe I'll separate the two halves, and we can compare the differences.
Mako 2,1,2 3/5
George 2,2,2,1,3,1,2,2,1 9/16
Cole 1,2,2,2 4/7
Launch 2,2,2,2,1 5/9
Itoje 2,2,3,1,1,2,2,1,2,2,2,2,2,2,2,2 16/30
Lawes 1,1,2,2,3,2,2,3 8/16
Robshaw 4,2,4,2,2,2,2,2,2,2,4,2,2,2 14/34
LCD 2,2,3,2,2,2,3,4,2,2,1,3,1,2 14/31
Marler 2,3,1,1,4,2,2,2,1,1,1,3,3,2,4,3 16/35
Sinckler 3,3,1,2,2,2,2 7/15
Haskell 2,3,2,1,2,2,2,2,2,3,2,3 12/26
Simmonds 2,2,2,2,3,2,2,2,1,2,2,2,2,2 14/28
Mako 2,1 2/3
George 2,2,3,2 4/9
Cole 1,2 2/3
Itoje 3,2,1,2,2,1 6/11
Lawes 3,2 2/5
Robshaw 3,5,2,1,5,5,2,1 8/24
LCD 3,3 2/6
Sinckler 2,2 2/4
Haskell 1 1/1
Simmonds 2,2,1 3/5
40.15 And as if by magic, we've worked hard to disrupt the first two French rucks of the half.
40.42 That's the second time Teo has lined up on Basta that I can remember, just not a sensible move...
41.24 Sorry, but when your 8 has time to pick his spot and 20 yards to run forward, he should be doing more than Simmonds managed. Taken down by Fickou on his own.
42.15 We're driving the man through on the carry, and seemingly running pods of 3 a bit more now. Securing the ball is easier.
42.20 Simmonds hits Basta, only one winner. Simmonds gets to the gainline by virtue of his acceleration though. Not what we need at 8, but if he can fulfil the role of the 7, it would be nice to have!
44.01 Mako gets turned over because Ford is trying to clear out Basta. Why is George so late to arrive? He's out there with Mako the whole time, the other 6 players in the pack had been involved in the previous 2 phases, what was he waiting for?
45.40 Can someone explain to Farrell and Mako that if they wander 3m in front of the ruck, or simply fall over away from the ruck, it doesn't actually count for anything? Farrell can have 2 for coming back to try and make up for his mistake, Mako is getting feck all for having a lie down.
45.47 Simmonds is picked up and returned by the French 10 and 12. Neither of whom are exactly beasts. Gives the French the momentum required to drive over and win the pen.
50.00 Can someone else look at this. I've given Launch a 2 for guard, I've given Lawes a 1, since he comes in and just sort of falls to his knees. He's there, but he's not acheiving anything.
52m Launch off for Hask. Launch was slow to get back for the France break, Lawes got back fast. I can see why Launch comes off here, but do feel that if our blindside had been making carries (0 for this half), or hitting rucks (as opposed to scoring just 1,1 at this point), Launch may have had more running in his legs. At this point in the half, every other player in the pack has done more than Lawes (except perhaps tackles, which isn't nothing, but equally, without counting them, may not be the case). One eyed Wasp being a bit sour, perhaps, but even ignoring Launch, Lawes simply does not contribute enough at the breakdown, and it doesn't feel like he's contributing enough elsewhere to really justify it.
55.05 For the arguments that Robshaw doesn't offer anything in the lineout, he's just won a good steal at the front here.
57.40 We're clearly going for the breakdown more now, not always that effective, but it's helping, including another turnover for Robshaw (good work by George too).
63.20 I've given Itoje a 2 and a first player there, but it's so tempting to give him a 1. He's gone straight off his feet and another ref in a bit of a mood could easily blow for that. Needless and sloppy.
64.17 The replacement forwards, Sinckler and Hask especially, are actually carrying with some venom. Easier when you know you've only got a short amount of time I guess. Makes us look a lot better though. Still seem slow at times. We're perhaps slow though because we have a set play called, so everyone needs to get ready. Looks pretty at first, but rather ineffective and extravagent. We do the same thing a few times, Farrell stands deep, passes early, the rush (because it was slow ball, it was easy to rush) close in, we don't get around it, turnover.
66.04 This kills me. There's our no.7 for 2 years, and our current no.6 (albeit now at lock) looking at a player who's been tackled right in front of them, they're the closest to the ball, with the french 9 the nearest support, and neither of them even consider it. I'm admitting now I'm probably extra harsh on players when it comes to scoring defensive rucks. They'll get a 1 if wiped out immediately, and feck all if I feel they've acheived feck all at the ruck (getting wiped out required someone to make a slightly special effort at least). I don't think anyone would really argue. I'm not missing hundreds or anything, so don't be concerned.
70.53, not sure if the set piece move was still played, but Joseph acts as Ford, Farrell plays himself, Teo takes out Basta nicely, and Daly goes on a great break, good offload too, shame the frenhman got a hand to it. Our attack, especially when planned, does look good.
70.18 Again, Joseph acts as Ford from set piece, lovely line from Teo, and Farrell times it well. I do still think that Farrell works far better when he follows a set plan, rather than trying to work off the cuff. Thankfully this time the plan worked because the defence cut in on Farrell (that's a testament to his improving attacking threat this 6N).
71.50 Tough to tell with the angles, but really not sure if kicking that was the right option from Brown, there again, a more accurate kick would have likely seen May score, so it perhaps was, just needed to be done better (I of course am assuming the pass would have been a good one anyway!).
72.40 Think we're lucky not to be turned there, as usual the support is half a second later than it should have been, Robshaw and Simmonds. The next phase sees Haskell and Itoje work very hard to remove someone so thoroughly from the ruck, that they've left the ruck anyway. Given them both 2s, think it's fair, would like to give them nothing.
73 OK, so maybe Eddies right. Half the time we are first to the ruck, we're straight off our feet anyway, and again a ref could happily ping us for that.
73.08 Lovely by Sinckler. All the defence thinks he's going for the charge, he dummies it, but flings it to Lawes, who almost makes it.
73.18 Lovely hands from Daly for Mays try.
75.50 Lawes scores a 3 for the carry, but I wish I could give him a 1, due to the offload to the frenchman.
80.08 Why did Wiggles ask for the pen? Why not take the free play, kick it up in the air and see if we can get lucky with a catch and try?
81.34 Another lovely touch from Sinckler there. Good take from Hask too.
82.36 LCD should have been called out for a dummy there.
With some front foot ball our attack looked better, mostly from set piece though, when we know our roles, does our attack look good. We seemed to tighten up a bit at the end, which helped. Subs made a big impact, as they should. 2nd half had a clear change in attitude towards the opposition breakdown, we don't have the players to always do much to it, but hopefully we'll start paying it more attention in general.