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Johnny Wilkinson And Brian O'Driscoll On Ireland's Super Effective Kick-Off Strategy

Johnny Wilkinson And Brian O'Driscoll On Ireland's Super Effective Kick-Off Strategy
By PJ Browne

20 minutes into Ireland and Wales' encounter at the Aviva, Dan Biggar left the pitch with a lower leg injury.

It was a knock which he had picked up following a kick-off by Johnny Sexton. The Ireland out-half had kicked directly to his Welsh counterpart.

Speaking on ITV, Johnny Wilkinson outlined why he believes such a strategy to be so effective.

I say to coaches, please kick to the number ten. It's the last person that wants the ball, kick it high so he can't kick it away. Get him involved in a ruck straight away where he can't move and also where he can't be a help for the next phase or two or whatever. His idea is 'I want to start confidently' and now he's in the middle of a ruck getting hit, getting in all kinds of body positions that he can't control.

I don't know if it's exactly what Ireland planned to do but it's a hell of a kick off. It's right in that area where he has to come forward and he has to come into it. You can see that his foot gets trapped as he turns away. No one wants to see him go off but you want to ruffle the ten straight away.

If Wilkinson was unsure regarding Ireland's intentions, Brian O'Driscoll was not. He felt kicking to Biggar was undoubtedly deliberate.

It looks as though it was planned because it's neither short and competitive or long for territory. I definitely feel as though they targeted [Biggar] tried to get him in the first ruck and make them box kick.

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