Scotland’s head coach, Gregor Townsend, has imitated a page from the playbook of the South African national rugby team—the Springboks. He completely changed the front row of players. He did this in an effort to attain their first win in the Cardiff Rugby Cup. Townsend learnt from the last couple of years playing against South Africa that having a strong front row just before the end of the game is imperative to winning a game. The South African team won the 2021 British and Irish Lions series by using this strategy.
During the 2021 British and Lions series the Springboks changed their entire front row. It helped them gain the upper hand in their scrums and mauls. By imitating what South Africa did, Townsend was able to achieve a stirring victory against England. This was because Scotland was able to stay strong in the scrums and resist, ensuring a three-point win. Townsend used this strategy to keep his front row fresh for the second half of the game.
This strategy is not without some worries. By having a strong fresh front row teams can dominate scrums and rucks but can fall short in speed. Welsh coach Wayne Pivac makes this apparent by reviewing what happened when Wales lost to Ireland in Dublin. Pivac explained that the Welsh team had trouble in the physical aspect of the game of cleaning rucks, defence and ball carrying but by having “loose forwards” it gave them more speed and brought “something different” onto the field. Pivac goes on to say that Wales will have to improve its forward play when playing England.
The Scottish head coach, Townsend, knows that it’s necessary that his forwards are not only strong defensively but also need speed if Scotland is to be successful in their coming games.
Source The Guardian
gain the upper hand 優位に立つ
fall short 足りない