When it comes down to assessing the successes and failures of a team, it can de difficult to pinpoint how much various factors have contributed. How much influence can a system have, especially in comparison to the actual playing personnel?
It cannot be argued that the top teams in rugby are usually the ones that have the best systems, which in turn elevates the performances of their players. Thus, you would assume that the system can actually be more important at times.
Munster are a team who are currently seeking test this theory out. Johann van Graan is currently on the search for a new attacking coach, which it is hoped can revitalise an offensive system that has spluttered at times this season.
On this week's World In Union, the Balls.ie rugby podcast, the lads discuss the impact of systems on a team. Using the contrasting examples of Connacht and Munster, they look how having the right system can impact the fortunes of a team.
Maurice: Munster right now have certain limitations within their system, but just have better players. Connacht's system is arguably better. Jack Carty did an interview in the Sunday Times, and he was talking about the fact that he took personal pride from the Six Nations, despite the fact that it didn't work out as well.
It's the ultimate battle in rugby, you are looking at team versus individual. Ken Early wrote an article on the Irish Times about how individuals are no longer enough in football anymore, that you need proper systems and that individuals can't win you a game.
I think that is the same in rugby now. We are finally seeing how far a system can bring you when you look at a team like Connacht, where as Munster are a slightly more individual based right now. Their defence is definitely a phenomenal system, but especially in attack they are looking for one off moments of magic...
If you are going to look at one learning from this year, if you are building a hierarchy of needs, it's that Munster don't need to go out and recruit massive new personnel to replace ones that currently exist. They need to refine their system first and foremost, especially in terms of their attacking game plan...
Mick: What are we actually seeing in the game? We are seeing not really having the ideas, running off centre with first runners, not really getting anywhere and not having that ability to break through. That's not down to Tyler Bleyendaal or Sweenam or whoever.
We might be able to pick out a moment where they didn't do well, but it's probably down to a system of play and a style in general. Until that is what it can be, then you probably look to try and top it up with the world class players.
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