EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

X-factor placement tips

Add extra bite to your players’ ball-placement technique by giving them these X-factor ideas. Every detail makes a difference to the speed and quality of your possession at the ruck.

1 FIGHTING TO THE GROUND

After the tackle is made, the ball carrier doesn’t stop fighting until he’s on the ground. Even if he has lost the initial battle, he can use his main weapons to go down on his terms. Specifically:

1. Leg drive – keep the legs pumping and driving forward

2. Arms and shoulders – fend with the arms, and roll the shoulders to keep riding the contact

After the tackle, the ball carrier should keep driving his legs and rolling his arms and shoulders to win vital metres

2 DYNAMIC TO THE GROUND

By “dynamic” we mean quick movements. So once on the ground, the ball carrier should be busy – using the hips and shoulders to roll and twist.

How many different ways can your players adjust to place the ball back? Practise them with quick movements.

Once on the ground, use the hips and shoulders to roll and twist. How many ways can your players adjust before they present the ball?

3 POST THE BALL

If the support is there quickly, keep the ball secure. Keep it close to the body so it’s not dislodged and then “post it” through the legs of the support players so it’s clean and available for the scrum half.

If the support arrives quickly, the tackled player can post the ball through his legs to give the scrum half clean access

4  POPPING UP THE BALL

If the support players aren’t straight over the ball, think about popping the ball back. This has two advantages:

  1. It’s a positive move to pass, so the referee will give the ball carrier more leeway to place the ball should the carrier then decide the pop pass isn’t on.
  2. It keeps the ball busy, making it harder for the first defender to target it.

Popping the ball up offers a chance for good go-forward because if there’s a weakness straight behind the tackle, the support player can run through this gap.

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