- Slick strike move sets away Drew Mitchell during semi-final
- Adam Ashley-Cooper completes hat-trick to see off Argentina
Our analysis feature Play of the Week returns again in the build-up to the final of Rugby World Cup 2015 at Twickenham on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 4pm, live on ITV).
This time, we take a look at a superb try scored by Australia wing Adam Ashley-Cooper following a lacerating run from fellow wide boy Drew Mitchell.
Before digging into the detail, watch the spectacular finish below:
Coming from first phase, this pattern is concocted prior to a lineout. While the forwards huddle to clarify the call, Mitchell walks across to the left flank.
Though wings, especially those as strong as the Toulon man, are often used in midfield, he is heading across to make full use of the blindside:
The next thing to take note is how the Wallabies set up at the lineout. David Pocock is in the conventional scrum half position, with Nick Phipps back 10 metres. This is a sure-fire sign that Australia will establish a driving maul:
Sure enough, when Tatafu Polota-Nau finds Ben McCalman...
...a maul is formed and rumbles infield with Pocock on the ball
Up from his initial position, Phipps is prompted to use it by referee Wayne Barnes and looks to fix replacement Pumas prop Lucas Nogera Paz:
From an aerial angle, we can see that two further Australia runners have arced around from the openside, causing the Argentina defence to concertina...
After committing Paz, Phipps fires a flat pass across to the unmarked Mitchell:
By panning out at this point as Mitchell sprints into the open, we can see Ashley-Cooper for the first time.
Close to the opposite touchline, he is not tempted to migrate towards the ball. Instead, he continues on a straight path up the field. He will get his reward later:
Meanwhile, Mitchell swerves right past a defender into centre-field, showing great balance...
...before stepping through another desperate tackle attempt...
...and outstripping one more Puma:
On the back of such a devastating run, it must be tempting for Mitchell to hold onto the ball and try to score himself. However, he releases a pass with expert timing, just as full back Joaquin Tuculet engages to tackle him:
Now, this was Ashley-Cooper’s 113th cap. After a brace of first-half scores, he was up to 36 tries. Here, the 31 year-old demonstrates such experience.
Rather than snatching at the bobbling ball, he takes his time...
...waits for a favourable bounce and scoops up:
Before curving around under the posts to make Bernard Foley’s conversion easier...
...and dotting down:
Sure enough, Foley landed the extra two and Australia extended into a 29-14 lead. The score stayed that way until the final whistle and Argentina’s brilliant tournament came to an end.
For the Wallabies, New Zealand await in the final. We are sure to witness a pulsating final.