In this short analysis, we will look at a try scored by Gloucester scrum-half Joe Simpson against Wasps in the Premiership back in October, during the second week of the season.
Firstly, if we look below, then we see how Gloucester have broken through the Wasps back line.
Cherry and Whites Number 8 Ruan Ackermann (son of Gloucester boss Johan) is in possession, and has drawn two Wasps defenders towards him. This is intentional, as he wants to create space for a teammate to run through and score from.
The two black arrows indicate how the two Wasps defenders move instinctively towards the ball, and you can see how Joe Simpson is also beginning to make his move into the space to receive the ball. Ackermann deliberately delays his pass until the last second, so that the Wasps defender nearest to him is unable to change direction and tackle Simpson as he comes through.
The second part of this try saw Simpson take the ball in space, thanks to Ackermann’s delayed pass (you can see how Ackermann is now being tackled by the first Wasps defender, who has committed to the South African), and that has left the gap open for Simpson to run through.
However, the second Wasps defender is still able to tackle him, as he has been able to switch targets and focus on the scrum-half. To ensure he isn’t tackled before taking the ball over the try line, Simpson aims his run slightly diagonally, so that he ends up running into the space where the first Wasps defender originally was. This ensures that he is not taken out by the second defender, who now has more ground to cover to get to Simpson due to this angled run.
Once clear of the second defender, Simpson straightens his run out, and places the ball into the try area.