Scouting your Opponent - an In Depth Guide

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Scouting your Opponent - an In Depth Guide

Post by Ex on Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:17 am

Scouting your Opponent - A Guide, has been reproduced here by kind permission of Kingblingaa


"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles." - Sun Tzu

It's a deviously cunning plan that Jeremy and Matt have, making most of the statistics of the game invisible except to premium members. Although I have every intention of buying it, money's tight right now and I can't find the extra cash at the moment.

So, I've devised my own little scheme to get the information I need for match planning week-to-week. Here's what I do.

Grab a notebook. You can write up the whole match on one side of a 8.5x11 piece of paper. Fold it in half vertically, then again vertically. You should have three crease lines horizontally across the page, left to right.

Write down the name of the team you are scouting, the week of the season and the opponent they are playing at the top.

In the top quarter of the page, write "scrums" for one half and "lineouts" in the other, side by side. Now, make four columns under each, and label them like so:

MyWon | MyLost | HisWon | HisLost

As you read the match, you'll be putting a tally mark in the column as needed. If you win your own scrum, put a mark in the "MyWon" column. Also, set aside a small section for knockons in lineouts. For example, if I stole his lineout, but eventually knocked it on doing so, I would put a mark in "HisLost" and a seperate mark at the bottom of the column as a knock on. I use lines for the lineouts and dots for knockons personally, but use what you want.

MyWon | MyLost | HisWon | HisLost
xx.....................x .............xxxx.............xx

O.....................O.............O...............OO

The "x"s would be the actual results and the "O"s would be the knockons. Ignore the priods, I had to put them in to make the ASCII look right.

In the second quarter of the page, your two chances are "Chances" and "High Balls". Seperate them into "Won" and "Lost" column.

For Chances, remember that you're only scouting one team. If that team gets an attack, write down the name of the player who started in, and what type of play it occured on. For example, "Johnson, wide" or "Smith, U/U" (up and under). If the other team gets a chance, write the player of your team who gave up the chance. "Mitchell, PG" mean that they got through on a pick and go after Mitchell blew the tackle.

Eventually:

Won..............................|........................Lost
Johnson, wide...............Thomas, creative
Earle, Creative

Johnson got free going wide, but failed to score. Thomas is my player who gave up the chance, and they scored on it. Earle created a chance I eventually scored on on a creative play.

For High Balls, write down the name of your players, in the win column if they win and the lose column if they lose. The match engine will usually tell you the two players who are going up for it. if they win more than one, just use tally marks or "Earle, x3" or something.

In the third quarter, it's "Rucks" and "Penalties". Rucks is divided like scrums and lineouts, MyW, MyL, HisW, HisL. Below, mark down penalties as they happen in rucks, just like knockons in lineouts.

For "penalties", You'll just be writing down the names of your team's players as the ref rings them up. Each time, I write it as a letter:

R for ruck.
M for maul.
O for offside.
T for high tackle.

So, a serial cheater's list would look like this:

Carson RRORM

5 penalties in all. Ouch.

Down to the last quarter of the page. If you're scouting your own team, the sections are "Mauls" and "Totals". if you're scouting an opponent's game, put a section in between for "Plays".

"Mauls" is divided into "His" and "Mine". Each time a maul is called (the match engine will tell you) you will write a number in the column:

0 for a no progress/collapse.
1 for a "marginal" improvement.
2 for a "good" improvement.
3 for an "excellent" improvement.
4 for a huge maul.
5 for a maul that results in a try.

So, if my team mauls for a good improvement, I will write a "2" in the "mine" column. Eventually, it would look like:

2 2 1 0 1 1 2 1 3

or something similar.

For plays, Write down the following:
PG
DR
EX
CR
KT
UU
DG

I bet you can figure out what these are. If not, in order, they are: pick and gos, drives, expansives, creatives, kicks for touch, up and unders, and drop goals. Mark as needed, so it'll eventually look like:

PG xxxx
DR xxxxxxxx
EX xxxxx

and so on.

Last, Totals. Here are our categories:

...................................Mine...|..............His
Scrums
LOs
Chances
High Balls
Rucks
Pens
Mauls

Write in percentages for scrums, lineouts, and rucks. Write your win percentage. For example:

6 MyW
4 MyL
7 HsW
3 HsL

I won 6 out of 10 of mine, so I would put "60%" in my column. I won 3 of 7 in his, so I put "30%" in the "his" column.

For High Balls, you will ony have a percentage in your column, "his" will be left blank.

Chances are written as fractions: 2/5 means I scored on two of my 5 chances.

Write the total number of penalties in your column, his will be blank.

For Mauls, add up your numbers and average them.

1 1 3 3 2 0 2 = 12

1.71 / 7

I averaged 1.71 in 7 mauls. Write his average too.

Now, everything will be arranged for you and you'll be able to see exactly how your team looks. After one game, here's what I noticed about mine:

I'm a good scrummaging team. I almost never lose my ball and get a good share of theirs.

I'm not as good as I thought on high balls, I should up and under less.

The same few players seem to cause most of my penalties.

My mauling needs work. I'm not as good as I think I need to be

I create a lot of chances. But, I need to make sure I finish them.

All of this, obviously, is useful information. I scout every game in my league and keep the pages in a folder. Eventually, I'll know where everyone stands in every category. (Hmmm, aganist me, Sarajevske took a lot more of my lineouts thant Elliott Bay did. Sarajevske's lineout crew is clearly better than EBay's...[example])

It's fun too, as I enjoy reading the games. I can "parse" one top to bottom in about 15 minutes. And, best of all, I'll be all ready to go come playoff time.

Ex
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