Why Salaspils Won EUCF 2019 Mixed

Guest analysis from Noah Brinkworth, as he unwraps the reasons behind Salaspils’ (Latvia) victory in the EUCF 2019 Mixed Final over Grut (Netherlands).

Highlights from the Film Sessions: https://www.patreon.com/posts/36853892
Full analysis / Film Session live streams:
1st half – https://youtu.be/V3k45cOnnb4
2nd half – https://youtu.be/3_eqVeUYoDs

reddit post & comments about this video…
… full transcript …

Hi everybody, I’m Noah Brinkworth, Felix and I looked at the EUCF mixed final from 2019 between Grut and Salaspils last week, for full analysis check out those livestreams in the description below. In this video I’m gonna look at how Salaspils uses team defence to force Grut to work the disc down the sideline.

Point 2

Grut open up their offense with a split stack, the disc is passed to Lola Dam, who passes to Minard who gets the disc on the sideline and sends it deep to Walt Jansen, but as Didris Malderes has baited the deep shot he manages to get the D. Although this cut looks open, the throw is challenging as the wind is pushing the disc out of the pitch. Grut use this flick deep shot many times unsuccessfully throughout the game with 7 flick deep shots to this corner being taken and only 3 successfully completed.

Point 4

After causing a turnover Grut pick up the disc on the far sideline. It’s clear that the Grut offense is looking to hit Dam down the line or deep from this position, Lasma Kublicka covers the deep throw and as Dam turns to cut under Reinis Otisens has poached the lane. This leads to a desperation throw to Dam and Kublicka gets the D.
Lets also take a look at the handler defence here, the strategy used primarily from Salaspils is for the mark to take away the aro. unds and for the dump defenders to take away the upline cut. When Maartje Keulen catches the disc 3 GRUT players are behind her. Early in the stall both Tom Blasman and Mark Ploeg clear up the line. Blasmans cut stops the flow as Martins Gusars doesn’t see the yard losing reset as a credible threat allowing him to position firmly in the up the line space. I’d like to either see Blasman cut hard up the line and clear deep or cut up the line initially then fake and cut back for the around swing. Once both Grut players are up line Joris Steneker takes up the dump position and also chooses not to cut back for the around swing.
Alternatively, playing with a hex shape, both Blasman and Ploeg could stay back and this would leave more space for the poached player Steenhuisen to cut for the disc from the hat position.

Point 12

There’s a similar situation later in the first half where Dam gets the disc on the sideline. One Grut handler cuts up the line once again, unable to get free whilst the other clears to the stack. Although Anne Minard gets free under here the throw is disincentivised as Malderis is close enough to threaten the poach D as he tracks his mark up the line. Eventually Grut’s Jansen gets free but this cut could be stifled if Minnard’s mark Poduma chooses to poach the under space similar to how Otisens does previously.
One way to conceptualize disc movement in hex is as the hex shape rolling up the sideline. If you think about the Gruts offense in the same way you can notice how the flow runs into each other which causes some cuts to invalidate each other like Jansen’s and Minaard’s here or for an aware defender like Otisens in the previous point to poach in the most threatening space. Instead I’d suggest that the wider handlers reposition into the stack keeping clear of any space around the disc, whilst Jansen repositions in the dump space, this leaves more space for under cuts down the line.
Two throws later Maartje Keulen, sends a flick into the far corner and Janis Bernans gets the D.

Point 16

After half time Grut find themselves back near the far sideline but now shooting the other way. Keulen picks up the disc and initially looks downfield then faces inwards towards the space. This engages Tjeerd Ates as the dump, he makes a cut up the line and does well to turn the hips of the Salaspils defender but ultimately decides to cut back for the swing. This movement is more effective as there is no cut from the stack into this space to invalidate a successful up line cut and Ates’ decision to take what the defense is giving him and cut but for the swing allows flow to continue. Salaspils have a similar force stopping the around and Keulen manages to break the mark with ease. After a pick call Ates makes an almost identical cut gets the disc and quickly swings the disc to Basten De Jongh who sends it deep.

Point 17

On this point there is excellent team defence and heads up play from Salaspils to stop the score. As Janna Jansen grabs the disc the first Salaspils switch has already occurred, Malinokovskis and Malderis switching as one player clears to the stack and the other cuts breakside. This however does leave Malderis slightly out of position, but when his new mark Blasman cuts under to take advantage of this Gusars steps into the lane and neutralises the cut, as Malderis picks up Gusars’ mark. Malderis is then beat deep by Niels Boom but Gusars gets across for an excellent heads up poach D

I think Grut look at their best when they are willing to play around the backfield and are more willing to swing the disc from side to side. Salaspils’ defensive pressure often forces them into smaller and smaller spaces which Salaspils are able to exploit with a smart poach or by baiting the deep throw. I think that Reinis Otisens on Salaspils does a great job during this match working the disc around the backfield and across the pitch to maintain flow and open up scoring opportunities.

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