Sport Rugby

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Cheika dusts down familiar move

Australia's first try brought back some memories for me as Michael Cheika dusted off a familiar old move.

Leinster fans might have had flash-backs when Michael Hooper reprised the Rocky Elsom move that cut the Munster defensive line open at a crucial moment in our win at Croke Park in the 2009 Heineken Cup semi-final.

It's an unusual play: most teams in the world, when they're switching two players in midfield, will use the centres and position them outside the No 10, but Cheika places his runners inside Bernard Foley.

Dane Haylett-Petty stands in front of Hooper and they look to isolate Ireland's second defender, Rory Best. What makes it really difficult for the captain is he sees Haylett-Petty tailing off to the inside and it's hard to pick up the flanker coming from his blindside.

It had Cheika's influence all across it: all the Australian players are in superb positions to capitalise if Hooper makes the break, they've worked hard on their detail and know the move inside out.

They can take advantage, they're one step ahead of Ireland's defenders and ready to take advantage.

So, when Keith Earls makes a great tackle on Israel Folau, Haylett-Petty gets his reward and scores an important try.

Irish Independent

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