Rugby World Cup 2023 – Opinion.  Pierre Vilbrieux column: The strategic stability of the Bucs family

Rugby World Cup 2023 – Opinion. Pierre Vilbrieux column: The strategic stability of the Bucs family

The game by the victorious South African champion New Zealand leads me to these thoughts.

I have always accepted that the way of thinking and experiencing the game in different cultures can be expressed through distinct ways of playing. In rugby, all tendencies and types of confrontation in order to win are acceptable. Over time, each global competition becomes a reflection of a relatively specific way of playing, often called a ‘style’. In this World Cup, producing winners has combined strategic, tactical, physical and mental characteristics that challenge and subject other nations to forces of change that could lead them to more or less reproduce the winners’ game.

I honestly admit that Boks rugby is not my cup of tea. We would rather draw inspiration from their opponents, the New Zealanders, who are better able, tomorrow, to enrich the game by maintaining the spirit that the rules allow. We cannot forget that the popularity of sports becomes lasting when it is accompanied by aesthetics and drama. In this sense, in the previous two matches against France and England, the tragedy of the end of the match due to the result was already present. But we can’t say that the production of heroes, as strong as they were, was up to the show’s expected standards. This illustration of the most exciting game was actually produced by the All Blacks, thus saving the match from being boring. Some important data reveal worryingly weak production. For the “Sud Afs”, 84 passes including one sequence of 3 passes compared to 221 for the New Zealand translation of collective moves that could and should have made the difference despite the handicap of inferiority, (yellow card and especially their red). Captain of the team). However, there is no coincidence in the Springboks’ success.

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Regarding the production game, the mistake would be to copy it and read the pre-made templates

This is achieved by respecting a consistent and patient attacking strategy. The proposed head-to-head or one-pass game is complemented by an offensive kicking game. It is this strategic stability, enhanced by their strength when in possession, and their ability to move as substitutes in defence, that has allowed them to achieve this coronation. The mental element, which is not insignificant, for the purposes of transferring it to the state of South Africa, is part of the message of solidarity, which is expressed on the ground through the different identities that make up this group. What should we keep from the 2023 World Cup winning match? I note the ability of the cast to create a reassuring group performance through the assurance of order it provides to the actors. The deep mechanism lies first, through belief in their game, but as for the productive game, the mistake would be in imitating it and reciting the pre-prepared forms. Doing so goes against the grain of a game that favors movement and initiative. It would be harmful for teachers of young people to draw inspiration from this in initial training. All the requirements expected at the highest level cannot appear without training in reading undefined game situations. Reading related to the artistic activity on which it depends. Which means that to move towards the best possible performance, it will always be a matter of incorporating the player’s freedom to change what has been planned, including at launch.

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Thus rugby finds its raison d’être and its efficiency by giving its full place to game and creative intelligence. Staying a game more in line with the spirit of the rules seems necessary to me. This means that the pioneer, represented by the “rugby world”, has to think about certain rules, in any case, their arrangements and the arbitration that accompanies them. In recent years, our sport has undergone many significant transformations, and the time has come before the 2027 deadline in Australia where “winning rugby” can be the result of a style of play that matches the value of the bets.

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