EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Base ruck

Simple to set up, these activities work on improving individual rucking and rucking as a group. There are no bags, just bodies to drive out from the tackle contest. It challenges players to find rucking solution but with a low body position.


Warm up time: 5-7
Session time: 8-10
Development time: 8-10
Game time: 8-12
Warm down time: 5-8


What to think about

Too many ruck drills make players drive back ruck pads. Real rucks are more difficult because there are not easy or soft places to contact with.

This session is full of activity, so players will have to find lots of different solutions. You can feed back to players what works. Keep emphasising the key points that a player on his feet is stronger than a player about to go off his feet. After that, the low man tends to win the contest.

Set-up

  1. Go low, stay on your feet and drive over the ball.
  2. Attack underneath the threat or pull the low threat away from the ball.

What you get your players to do

Split into pairs. Put one player with a ball opposite another player 1m away. Their own partners are 2m behind them. All the players are on their knees (see picture 1).

When you shout “GO”, the ball carrier is tackled by the player in front of him. The other two players aim to win the battle over the ball on their feet.

Two players on their knees facing each other, with a supporter 2m behind each one. When you shout “GO” the ball carrier is tackled and the other two players get to their feet to win the battle over the ball.

Two players on their knees facing each other, with a supporter 2m behind each one. When you shout “GO” the ball carrier is tackled and the other two players get to their feet to win the battle over the ball.


Development

Start the ball carrier and opposite player as before, but this time the ball carrier has two support players 2m away to the side, while the defender has one player 2m away, also to the side (see picture 2).

Develop by adding players coming in from different angles. Play until the ball is clearly won or there is an infringement. A spare player can be used to referee the situation (and learn more about what is allowed).

Putting two attack supporters 2m to the side and the one defensive supporter opposite them.

Putting two attack supporters 2m to the side and the one defensive supporter opposite them.


Game situation

Put an attacker and defender about 3m away from a 2m box. About 4m to the side of the box put a ruck pad, with three defenders and three attackers on their knees facing each other next to it.

Get a feeder to pass the ball to the standing attacker who runs through the box and is tackled by the defender. Call out which attackers and defenders can enter the tackle area. For instance 2 v 1 (A and B v 1) or 1 v 3 (C v 1, 2, and 3).

Where the ball is passed to the standing attacker who runs through the box and is tackled. In the meantime, release up to three attackers and three defenders to support the tackle contest.

Where the ball is passed to the standing attacker who runs through the box and is tackled. In the meantime, release up to three attackers and three defenders to support the tackle contest.


What to call out

  • “Drive up from the base of the ruck, not down”
  • “Short steps”
  • “The arms grab and pull, not push and parry”
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