Applying pressure is an often-misunderstood principle of play, with coaches often equating it to scoring points in attack or turning a ball over in defence. Whilst applying pressure will commonly be the precursor to these actions, the principle relates more to the exploitation of time and space in attack, and the denial of these in defence. In the following game, we look to explore these ideas. MORE
An algorithm is a set of rules to solve a problem. Here is my continuity algorithm where the problem is what the ball carrier does when they have to take contact.
To keep the ball alive, it is essential to move the defenders, then attack their weak side, which is the less dominant shoulder.
They don’t aim for the defender’s body. In other words, attack the branches and not the trunk of the tree.
Once in the contact, the ball carrier needs to keep their feet and arms active, with the aim of breaking the tackle.
If the ball carrier breaks the tackle, they must keep going forward.
If they remain in contact, the thought process about passing the ball develops from the algorithm:
They pass if:
- They are dominant, that is, they get behind the defender.
- They have a support player near them (converging) and that support player is accelerating.
- There is no traffic. There aren’t any defenders in the pass line.
If any of those three conditions doesn’t happen, the player shouldn’t pass the ball and they should start thinking about making an ultra quick ruck. This is a ruck that is so quick that it doesn’t let the defence get organised.
By Mario Iglesias, director, Spanish Rugby Union Player’s Development Centre, Asturias