Sustained Poaching (Spectrum of D pt 4)



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Sustained poaching is the technique of covering a space on the field that is particularly valuable to the offence. If an offence makes disproportionate use of deep throws for example, then a poaching defender in the deep space can increase the difficulty of a deep throw, and force the offence to make shorter passes. The deep poach also allows 1 to 1 defenders to take away the under aggressively in the knowledge that the deep poach will help if they get beat deep. Similar tactics can be used with a poach in the open side lane, with other defenders aggressively covering the deep space, or a combination of a sustained under poach and a deep poach, often seen utilised against vertical stacks.

Combatting sustained poaching comes in two main styles. Either an offence continues to create options in the poached area by running through that space and drawing the poaching player out of position, leaving the space free for a cut. Alternatively the offence can look to use other areas of the field to work the disc up to the endzone. When a team uses a sustained poach it also requires other downfield defenders to switch off their mark and onto the poached player when they make a cut, which requires communication and field awareness. If the defence chooses not to do this when the poached player cuts away from the poach, they generate a large amount of separation and the space is left exposed.

In the 2019 EUCF final CUSB La Fotta used sustained poaching against Clapham to take away both the deep and under space at different parts in the game. Here you can see Justin Ford cut deep only to see a deep poach and look visibly frustrated, and here is a near poach d from Bruno Mine as he lingers in the under space. Check out full analysis of the game in 4 part series on the felixultimate channel.

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