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Brett McKay
Brett McKay | Columnist Index
One of the new breed of Australian online rugby writers, Brett McKay joins ESPNscrum.com having developed a popular presence on sports opinion site The Roar. He also tweets from @BMcSport.
The Whiteboard
Key plays that may decide All Blacks, Wallabies Tests
Brett McKay
June 5, 2014
Brett McKay illustrates key plays that may decide the New Zealand-England and Australia-France Tests © Scrum.com
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You've sat down in front of The Whiteboard all season as we dissected key plays of the Super Rugby campaign. Well, now we're re-visiting five of those plays to inform your Rugby IQ ahead of the Tests this weekend between New Zealand and England, Australia and France. England and France are well advised to take note in their match preparations; we'll be surprised if a number of these plays, or versions thereof, do not feature on the coming three weekends,

Double-decoy flat ball

The Wallabies' backline doesn't feature as many New South Wales Waratahs as perhaps had seemed likely, but Bernard Foley, Adam Ashley-Cooper (at outsde centre) and Israel Folau featured in this move, and the Brumbies' Matt Toomua, at inside centre, is very capable of producing the flat line run by Kurtley Beale in this instance. Or Beale, of course, might run the line himself if and when he is introduced off the bench.

Bernard Foley's dummy to Adam Ashley-Cooper was key to the opening try by Israel Folau © Sky Sports / Fox Sports (Image Supplied)
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Inside ball off a lineout

Kurtley Beale stepped into first receiver to give the ball to Peter Betham coming in from the blind, but Foley and/or Toomua can run and play to the same flat line and throw the same flat pass to say, Cummins, on that short blind side coming in from the left.

Kurtley Beale put Peter Betham into a yawning gap to break open the match against Melbourne Rebels © Scrum.com
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Pod movement in the lineout

You'd like to think England, being such a good set-piece side, will be wary of plays like this but so, too, are France, and Tony Woodcock scored from a similar play in the 2011 Rugby World Cup final. And if the Chiefs can manage this against Victor Matfield at Loftus Versfeld, there's no reason why the All Blacks can't pull it off against England.

The move allowed the pods to distract defenders and open up a massive hole for Pulu © Scrum.com
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Patience is a virtue

If Ewen McKenzie wants a blueprint to build phases while showing utmost patience, the tracking map of Western Force's 16 phases between halfway and the Reds' 22-metres line might be a good start. Hold the ball, take the metres available, and wait for the opportunity to present.

Western Force displayed great patience in the lead-up to Jayden Hayward's match-winning try © Scrum.com
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The vision of a genius

England need to beware aimless kicks out of defence, with Hurricanes stars Conrad Smith and Cory Jane playing in Auckland and Julian Savea all-but a certainty to return once he overcomes his knee problem. The Blues defenders here stayed on Savea, leaving Smith an untouched run in support on the outside.

Smith remained outside Savea's line, but was close enough to remain part of the play © Scrum.com
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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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