Exeter Chiefs are one of the top teams in the Premiership, and have been for a few seasons now. They have plenty of good players in their squad, and have a mix of everything you could want in a team.
This try came from a player who has a lot of what Exeter look for in a player; pace, skill and spatial awareness. Tom O’Flaherty is a winger, but likes to drift inside and collect the ball wherever he is likely to have a chance of causing problems for the opposition. If he is having a quiet game on the wings, he will also look to come inside to get hold of the ball, and that is why he such a dangerous and unpredictable opponent to play against. Here, against Wasps, is one such example of this.
Firstly, we see how O’Flaherty has gained possession of the ball in the central areas of the pitch, and in the middle of the Wasps’ defensive line. It should be pointed out here that Wasps are down to 14 men, with prop Kieran Brookes in the sin bin, which may account for the gaps, although we know that Wasps have been ropy anyway when defending for a couple of seasons now.
As O’Flaherty, circled, has received the ball, he is looking to make the pass out to the wings, as the yellow arrow shows, where he has a teammate on hand. However, this is just a ploy to force the gap to become as wide and spacious as possible. As the black arrow shows, he uses his pace to get behind the defence.
Once in behind, he is able to then run underneath the posts, and again, his pace means he can shrug off the attempts from Wasps to bring him down before he gets there. He ends up running and placing the ball down underneath the posts, highlighting both his importance and ability, but also Wasps’ main issues, and the reason they have fallen out of top 4 contention over the last couple of seasons. Tom O’Flaherty has been a regular starter for Exeter since his move from Ospreys in 2017, and when you look at moves like this, it’s not hard to see why that is.