Machine’s Comeback (Part 3) – USAU Nationals 2019 Final: Sockeye v Machine

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In this video – 3rd part in a series looking at how Machine almost stole the 2019 Final away from Sockeye – I take an in-depth look at the turnovers and critical moments in the last few points of the game, including noting how Machine’s D uses teamwork to get the disc to the sideline and apply immense pressure, and Alanguilan’s incredible layout block.

Part 1:
Part 2:
… full transcript …

Transcript: Hey everyone, in this video we’re going to look at a contentious foul call, *that* D from Alanguilan, a nice poach block from Nelson, and Gibson & Bansfield continuing to dominate on offence to bring the scores level at 11-11 in the USAU Nationals Final 2019.

The pressure is on for Sockeye fielding the pull – the last 3 attempts have either been misfielded or turned over on the first pass. Montague milks the first pass for as many yards as possible and steals an extra step, risking a travel call and immediate halt to flow. Machine again overload the centre of the field, forcing the disc to initially go out wide. Bansfield moves the force to cover the up-line, and Dixon breaks to Rehder in the middle of the field. Freechild attacks the centre but Weaver poaches to cover the break side and Bansfield flash poaches off a handler to pinch the throwing lane from all sides. Murray goes deep and Kanner switches to mark Freechild under. This would be a great switch, but Alanguilan isn’t on the same page, so Murray ends up free deep. You can see from his shadow that he doesn’t pull out of his deep cut, and with 7 Machine defenders on-screen there is definitely no deep help. The timing seems good as Dillon winds up for the huck, but then he fakes it, and you can see Freechild doesn’t know why. If this connection was the other way round, with Murray throwing to top-scorer Dillon, there’s a good chance the disc would have gone to the end zone for the score. It’s possible Machine have engineered the less likely deep look, and after the fake Sockeye must begin to build their offence again from a reset.

Bansfield poaches into the central space which is Sockeye’s primary look, forcing the 8th pass of the offence to again be laterally towards the near sideline. Freechild gets the disc in his hands for only the 2nd time since 9-6, and I’ve noticed a tendency for key players who have not touched the disc in a while to rip it deep when they do get it, which is followed here. Before we look at the foul call, take note of Machine’s smothering defence. There’s a deep poach, Gibson poaches to take out the open under throwing lane and the up-line space, and Bansfield and Alanguilan force Sockeye’s resets to go deep or up line. The poaching is so smooth and coordinated that it gives the appearance of Machine transitioning to a cup zone.

The deep throw is a high stall hail mary thrown to no separation, and Rehder emphatically makes a foul call, illustrating that Weaver pushed him out of position whilst Weaver shakes his head. From the first replay you can see there is significant contact between the two, from the second you can see it is initiated by Weaver and drastically affects Rehder’s line. If you compare their positioning to where the disc is caught, you can see Rehder would’ve easily had a bid on the disc. Unfortunately the call goes to observer, fortunately they rule in favour of Sockeye and they keep the disc.

Unfortunately the call has to go to the observer, who rules in Rehder’s favour with the two still disagreeing emphatically.

WOW! Where did Alanguilan come from? Although there’s clearly a 3v2 situation going on in the end zone, meaning the players should ‘take the runners’ instead of marking the disc, Weaver continues to foul Rehder and puts on a tight mark, leading to double coverage at the front corner. Alanguilan is still far away at this point, but Rehder hesitates on the throw, possibly due to a push from Weaver. At the moment of release Alanguilan is going at full speed, takes 3 more powerful steps, and launches himself through the disc. He also catches this interception, which is a great habit to get into not only to secure the blocks and start quick breaks, but it also makes it look around five times cooler than just knocking it out of the air.

Machine keep the disc alive for a while and there’s a weak travel call on Gibson. Freechild calls an early switch to neutralise Bansfield’s under cut, Dillon is a bit slow to react but nothing comes of it, and Freechild continues to switch onto the unders. Weaver hits an under pass to Goff with an around break flick, but he fails to attack the disc or do the footwork necessary to keep it in-bounds.

Bansfield is at it again – clogging the key space whilst the disc is moving, smoothly switching marks as Kanner picks up the deep cutter, and denying the easy backwards reset off the sideline. But where did Nelson come from with the poach? At the same moment that Bansfield’s mark chooses they must go upline, Nelson’s mark also moves to attack this space – some great awareness and early movement from Nelson gets him in the right place at the right time to put pressure on the catch, and note how Bansfield was already moving to cover the mark Nelson left. Again, it’s the Machine defence working together which results in the turnover – covering the behind and upline spaces with switches and poaches when the disc is on the sideline.

After the turn, Nelson and/or Bansfield should probably go deep whilst Gibson picks up the disc, but they’re both keen to get it moving so Gibson streaks deep instead – Russell and Murray switch nice and early to neutralise the threat, and after a couple of passes Bansfield calls a time-out.

After the time out Machine set up a vertical stack and run a very conservative and calculated offence, with Bansfield and Gibson adopting field-surveying, quarterback roles, and Sockeye switching to cover the big under and deep threats.


This score, again created predominantly by Gibson and Bansfield connecting, is the 5th point in a row for Machine and brings them level with Sockeye at the climax of the 2019 club season – 11-11 in a game to 13.

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