Game strategy, selection & execution in that order

The All Blacks 100th Test match against the Springboks highlighted what every coach needs to appreciate.

Both coaching groups designed their game plan & selected their teams to do what they had to do to beat their greatest rival.

The Boks decided their best chance of winning this game was to win the possession battle at set play, put the ball high in the air & chase hard to put pressure on Jordy, George & Will. This is how their first & only try was scored. De Klerk & Pollard were selected to execute this strategy.

In defence they rushed up in a line, once again applying huge pressure on the AB’s ability to find space. They were focused totally on defence not attack, slowing the game down & along with the referee creating a stop, start affair. The Boks executed their strategy & very nearly pulled off an unexpected victory.

The AB’s in recent times have shown the ability to speed up the game, searching for, & creating space. It is their forte’ & they are the best team in the world at this.  To succeed, their focus must be attack & selection is about choosing the players who can achieve this & who have the ability to score tries. In addition, they selected the best receivers of the high ball in Jordy Barrett, Will Jordan & George Bridge.

The AB’s didn’t execute their game plan & Foster alluded to this in their post-match. Training & selection this week would have been all about execution & my money will be on the AB’s to pull it off this weekend.