EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Adapt in attack

It is important that your players are aware of the different roles in attack from broken play. Though some may rarely play that role in the game, a greater understanding of the needs of other players will improve their own all round decision making.


Warm up time: 7-10
Session time: 20-25
Development time: 10-15
Game time: 10-15
Warm down time: 7-10


What to think about

  • Who should stand at first receiver?

Whatever level you coach at, it is rare that all the players in the team are comfortable at first receiver. But they must all have some experience of all the roles, so they can perform their own role more effectively.

However, ensure that your preferred first receivers are in this position more often to allow your players to run patterns of play more smoothly.

Set-up

  1. At the beginning of each play identity yourself as either the clearing passer, first receiver, decoy, “penetrator” or supporter.
  2. As you develop change your starting role, as you will certainly find yourself in this position during games.

What you get your players to do

Split your players into groups of five and have them align themselves in an attacking formation. Each player at the start is given a name – clearing passer, first receiver, decoy, “penetrator” and supporter. The players run through a simple practice using a miss pass.

As they become competent, swap them around into a different starting role.

The clearing passer makes the initial pass from the ground. Emphasise a sweep with bent knees, with the hands ending up pointing to the target.

The clearing passer makes the initial pass from the ground. Emphasise a sweep with bent knees, with the hands ending up pointing to the target.


Development

  • After the players have tried out all the roles, finish the play with the supporter receiving a final pass from the penetrator. The supporter then puts down the ball and becomes the clearing passer. The other four players have to get into an attacking formation and go through the same play in a different role.
  • Repeat but keep the attack going in the same direction with passes from left to right.
  • Add some passive defenders using a touch tackle or with contact shields.
A simple “miss pass”, with the players fulfilling a specific role. Ensure the players change their roles each time.

A simple “miss pass”, with the players fulfilling a specific role. Ensure the players change their roles each time.


Game situation

Split into two teams of eight. Hold a spare ball to give to the clearing passer if the initial ball is taking too long to become available. This will speed up the game significantly and mean that the attacking players cannot get into their normal positions. They therefore will have to take up a different role than usual. Start with touch tackles before progressing to full tackles. Restart with taps.

The supporter finishes off the move and becomes the next clearing passer.

The supporter finishes off the move and becomes the next clearing passer.


What to call out

  • “Hands up as a target in a “W” formation”
  • “Clearing passer: sweep the ball away”
  • “First receiver: move onto the pass”
  • “Decoy: make it look as though you are receiving a pass”
  • “Penetrator: take the pass at full pace”
  • “Supporter follow the penetrator”
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