Notes taken by Lee Smith, IRB Regional Development Manager for Oceania, at a presentation by Aussie McLean.
- The defence gives the attack its options in time and space. It is therefore important that when a player is tackled the tackler is noted to give the attack a signal as to what the defence is doing.
- Defenders who drift give the ball carrier more time on the ball and more time to manipulate the defence.
- Players should avoid ball watching, as by doing this they don't see the options available, especially those wide out.
- Under current practice the #8 taking the ball from scrums merely creates the opportunity for a defensive screen unless a substantial advantage is created.
- The skills of attack apply to all players just as the skills at the tackle and post tackle do. This is emphasised by the number of phase plays that exist in the game.
- Decisions are made on the following criteria:
a. Attacking numbers compared with defensive numbers.
b. Miss matches at a particular place in the defensive line.
c. The use of the width of the field.
d. The grouping of players at points across the field.
- This will be further helped by recognising the characteristics of individual defenders:
a. The type of tackle they most likely make.
b. The defender looking in.
c. The defender who rushes across the field in the drift.
d. The defender who rushes up out of line.
e. The defender who is a ball watcher.
f. The defender who lacks pace and stands wide to compensate for this.