England vs Romania
The England and New Zealand wins couldn’t be much more different but they both show one of this World Cup’s crucial attacking weapons …the inside channel line break. With drift defences so confident and space at such a premium the inside break is a devastating weapon. Look at England’s fourth try (at 31.30 minutes of game time).
Haskell heads directly into the channel between 10 and 12. Wilkinson attacks the space between 12 and 13 which allows Ashton to make the inside break where the defenders have already been committed. He threads the eye of the needle at speed and is through on the try line before anyone can stop him.
New Zealand vs France
Similarly in the New Zealand game, this time in open play, Dan Carter attacks the space between 12 and 13 from deep to set Israel Dagg through the inside channel. (at 35.47 of game time.)
This pass is forward but in both cases the success of the second runner through space depends on the attack of the first runner. If the defence are not committed there is no inside channel hole to punch through. Timing is everything. Ashton’s is perfect Dagg’s is too early.