How hard do you work your team on the third principle of attacking rugby?

The first two principles of attacking rugby are:

  1. Gain possession
  2. Go forward

The third principle is Support. That means plenty of different things, depending on the relationship of the supporting player to the ball carrier. And then, the relationship of the ball carrier to the defence.

Therefore, there are many possibilities to explore as a supporting player, and we have to provide plenty of scenarios in training to help players consider their roles.

Some teams call this “off-the-ball” coaching. Here are four different acitivities to challenge your attackers who don’t have the ball to think and react to what’s happening in front of them.

Focusing first on penetrating a defensive line, you can develop Inside pass support lines. The play pulls the defence out and then attacks on the inside. This activity encourages players to line up in a second wave, not spread themselves across the pitch.

Once the ball carrier goes into contact, the next arriving player needs to be the one Winning the support race. Our practice plan creates several different scenarios for players to read and react to.

At a more basic level, the support player can offer clear instructions for the ball carrier to maintain possession. Support the ball carrier in contact comes from our Easicoach curriculum and focuses on the best communication to use.

Finally, in another session from our EasiCoach curriculum, help the players sense the best positions relative to the ball carrier so they can be Supporting at pace.

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