Insight from Scotland lead performance analyst
Lead performance analyst Gavin Vaughan talks about how Scotland are preparing for the upcoming Rugby World Cup Tests this week against Russia and Japan.
So, what did you make of the Japan v Samoa match?
“It was a very entertaining match and they got the score late on. Nobody does anyone favours at World Cups. Everybody is out to win and put their best performance in. That [the end result] is out of our control.
“We have got a big task ahead over the next two games and we know what we need to do. (the Japan result) has made the picture a bit clearer.
“I had a bit of an early morning today (Sunday). I had one or two things to add to finalise my preview.
“Nothing much has changed in Japan’s playing style. We know what they are going to bring. But it is important to focus on Russia at the moment. Without that result going our way, it is pointless looking at Japan.”
What does your analysis tell you about Russia?
“They are a very physical team – they never roll over. They had a 90 per cent tackle completion rate against Ireland – from more than 200 tackles. They kick the most – 30 kicks a game on average – which is higher than any northern hemisphere team. We know what kind of game-plan they’ve got.
“They have got a smart coaching group. I know Lyn Jones from my time in Wales and the way he likes his teams to defend, so that’s a bit of an advantage, but they are very smart and they will never give up.”
Did you learn anything new about Japan on Saturday night?
“Samoa had a few opportunities which we will definitely review and link with other images we have seen.
“They (Japan) play a very fast-paced game and their half-backs are vital to their tempo. There are one or two little things but we will join the pieces together in our previews.”
What’s a night like for you after a game?
“It’s generally a long night. We are at the stadium five hours before kick-off as well, so it is a long day. We will stay up until 4am / 5am getting the reviews and player codes done, so when the boys wake up the next day the codes are pretty much on the laptops, and the stat reports are ready to go for the coaches.
“There is not much sleep, but it is a big part of making sure the team is prepared to win.”
Do you get any special or ad-hoc requests?
“We have a general template we use and stick to every week. I’ve got an assistant (Cameron Mack) here with me who is doing a really good job and there are a few people back home. But there are certain things that arise in games where we will look at a specific area in a bit more detail, which we will then present to the players later in the week.”
Are you still using drones?
“Yep, the drones are with us every day. A few teams are using them now, which is good to see.
“There is really good provision here in Japan from World Rugby. We get seven angles of the game, whereas back home we get four. We get the spider-cam and whatnot in an online portal that is ready within an hour, post-match, to download. It’s really good, next-level stuff.