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Just One Clip Is Needed To Vindicate Gordon D'Arcy About Sam Burgess

Just One Clip Is Needed To Vindicate Gordon D'Arcy About Sam Burgess
Conor O'Leary
By Conor O'Leary
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Gordon D'Arcy received a lot of unwarranted backlash for using his years of experience as a centre to analyse Sam Burgess' performance against Wales.

Burgess was a late replacement for England against Australia. It was telling that George Ford was brought on with Farrell moving to 12 ahead of Burgess at half time. There were moments against Australia that backed up D'Arcy's argument from the previous week, including the clip below that leads to Australia's third try for Matt Giteau.

It was a great piece of work from Australia, to get the ball wide and identifying front five forwards in the English defensive line. Be sure to track Burgess through the move.

If you are wondering which one Burgess is, it's this circled player several metres behind the English defensive line here:

gordon darcy sam burgess


There are several problems with Burgess, that highlight how unfamilar he is with the game in these 30 seconds.


He begins the video ahead of the ball. He realises that he needs to get back into position and thus goes into a very deep position in the back line. The ball never comes out though, through some brilliant breakdown work and Australia turn it over.

Watch the referee, Poite realises that the ball has been turned over, and the rest of the English team uses that two seconds to come forward into the defensive line. Not Burgess.

Not only does this leave England short numbers in the line, but it also exposes the front five forwards - tighthead prop Kieran Brookes and lock George Kruis. Had Burgess been more aware, he should have been in this line, and been able to shut down the Australian attack before those forwards were exposed.


Even as the play goes wide, Burgess isn't making an effort to come across and help his team. At no stage does Burgess get above a canter, and is familar with a number of examples that D'Arcy highlighted.

D'Arcy's arguments are reinforced when you re-read his article, especially the example highlighted for Dan Biggar to bring Wales back into the game.

See Also: New Zealand Herald Launch Surprising Attack On Gordon D'Arcy For Sam Burgess Article

See Also: Gordon D'Arcy Picks Out The Springboks Player To Blame For Japan Defeat

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