NOT FOR FEATURED The ‘choke tackle’ seemed very aptly named after Saturday’s performance against Ireland – it suffocated much of Wales’ quick ball. It’s no secret that the Irish like to wrap the upper body in contact and force a maul, thereby increasing the chances of being awarded a scrum and their own feed. It was therefore genuinely surprising to see some of the Welsh ball-carriers approaching contact with such high body angles. Even when the Irish didn’t manage to keep the carrier in the air, it bought their defence an extra three or four seconds with which to reset their line. Sometimes getting to the ground is more important than making the extra yard.Shock at lock: Andrew Coombs impressedAndrew Coombs – take a bowAndrew Coombs was tremendous against Ireland and more than deserving of his first cap. In fact, they should present him with two caps for that one performance alone. Coombs had a 100% lineout completion and didn’t miss a tackle – but it was his ball-carrying that was so impressive. At points during the first half he wasn’t just carrying the ball, he carried the team, and his low body angle meant that he wasn’t once caught out by the ‘choke tackle’. Prior to the Ireland game Coombs’s selection raised a few eyebrows from Welsh fans; after Saturday’s performance the only raised eyebrows will be coming from his fellow second-rows in the Welsh camp. Coombs will be hard to drop for the France game.Handling errors are costly Too high: Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips is held up in a choke tackle by the Irish defence during Saturday’s defeatBy Paul WilliamsWALES’ DEFENCE of their Six Nations title didn’t get off to a good start with a 30-22 defeat by Ireland in Cardiff. Here are five things we learnt from the match…Too slow out of the blocksWales had a tremendous second half against Ireland. It was as well as they have played at any point during the last nine months. They dominated the entire period and forced the Irish to defend for 30 minutes. This unusually one-sided period meant that Wales finished the game with 65% of the territory and 63% of the possession. Wales carried the ball 512 metres compared to Ireland’s 210. They made twice as many clean breaks, beat nearly double the number of defenders and forced Ireland to make 176 tackles – Wales made just 101. But of course, none of this counts for anything and it masks the fact that Wales were out of the game after just 43 minutes. This disparity between first-half and second-half performance isn’t an isolated incident either – it was the same story against the All Blacks. A cure needs to be found for these schizophrenic first-half displays – and fast.Hands up: Toby Faletau makes a breakUp the offloadsWales’ offloading game was very impressive in the second half and it was as pleasurable to watch as it was effective. But there is something desperately frustrating about watching Wales offload the ball for parts of the game and not others. Currently the Welsh team only pass out of the tackle when they are desperate. But offloading the ball shouldn’t be a tactic that is dictated by emotion and desperation. Why should you only offload when the game seems lost? Wales are far more effective when they pass around defenders rather than simply running straight through them.Go low or get choked Jonathan Davies is a very good player. His angles of running are superb, so too his defence, but sadly at times, his handling isn’t. Not all of his passing should be called into question but he does occasionally struggle with his mid- to long-range passes. These are costly errors and stunted Wales’ ability to move the ball through the back-line. It’s the only aspect of his skill-set that’s stopping him from becoming one of the world’s top three centres. However, if Coombs is able pass the ball 20 yards, so too should your outside-centre.Follow Paul Williams on Twitter @thepaulwilliams LATEST RUGBY WORLD MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION DEALS
AfghanistanFIFA 2022 World Cup QualifiersfootballIndia First Published: November 9, 2019, 11:51 PM IST Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. New Delhi: The Indian football team on Saturday got down to training here, seeking to get acclimatised to the artificial turf ahead of back-to-back 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Afghanistan and Oman.The team underwent a passing session followed by a short stretching session under strength and conditioning coach Luka Radman at the artificial turf of the HTC Sports Academy in the capital. The medical team was seen monitoring and taking notes of all players who were present. The squad is scheduled to depart from India on Monday. Following the game against Afghanistan on November 14, they will travel to Muscat to cross swords with Oman on November 19.Coach Igor Stimac mentioned that the match is “on an artificial turf” so they need to train in similar conditions to get acclimatised as soon as possible.”There is a long travel in front of us, a different climate and a match on an artificial pitch. We needed to train on an artificial turf to get acclimatised soon,” he said.”It’s most important that we are together now and are concentrating on the upcoming games. We need to work on the players’ movements and passing. These days of training will be extremely crucial in order to stay on top of our preparation against Afghanistan,” Stimac stated.Adil Khan, Amrinder Singh, Sarthak Golui, Raynier Fernandes, Vinit Rai, Sahal Abdul Samad, Brandon Fernandes, Mandar Rao Dessai, Jackichand Singh, Manvir Singh, Seiminlen Doungel and Subhasish Bose have reported to the camp while others will join in the next couple of days.”It is an away game, so we have to be more cautious and utilise the opportunities that we get. We are monitoring all the players and we’ll fix our strategy accordingly,” Stimac added.