Rugby Insight: Play of the Week

Former England fly half Andy Goode analyses Saturday's victory over Samoa and picks out his standout play.  

My IBM TryTracker Play of the Week comes in the 77th minute and was a spark of individual brilliance from Elliot Daly. It is a top piece of skill that combines pace, power and nous

Being a great international player is about producing top-level Test performances week-in-week-out, and that is what we have come to see from Daly on the wing.

England get quick ball, and George Ford (circled yellow left) takes it close to the Samoan line. He uses two decoy runners (both circled yellow outside him) to draw in two Samoan defenders (circled red) passing behind to Mike Brown (circled blue) who in turn feeds Henry Slade (below).

The conversion of what should have been an attacking three-on-two isn’t as accurate as it could have been, but Slade gives Daly early ball and the 25-year-old is expected to take contact and recycle the ball.

But Daly (circled yellow above) is very switched on and sees the Samoan defence drifting hard across the pitch to the touchline, and bounces off his wing, stepping four would-be defenders (circled red).

He then uses a fend off to the shoulder of replacement scrum half Melani Matavao as momentum (above), and uses his pace to burst away from cover tacklers (circled red below). The angle he runs, coupled with that pace he possesses means no one is catching him.

Some players have that initial burst of power to get through the contact, but then don’t have the turn of foot to go again, but Daly has that ability of secondary acceleration.

The Wasps wing is very switched on, and talks a lot throughout the game. I think playing in the centre has helped him with that; he reads defences well and you see it here. Top notch rugby IQ. Elliot plays well regardless of the number on his shirt, and that is one of his massive plus points; he is a winger with a centre's brain.

He is fast becoming a player of true international class, and to finish off a wonderful score from the halfway line is testament to that. A sublime try, and my Play of the Week.