EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Bravehearts

Do your players have the courage to fight for every 50/50 ball? When the ball is on the ground, players need to react aggressively to win it – before driving forward.


Warm up time: 5-7
Session time: 8-10
Development time: 8-10
Game time: 15-20
Warm down time: 5-7


What to think about

A player challenging for the ball on the ground cannot be tentative. He must “own” the space around the ball.

The best option is to pick up the ball cleanly. Players can only do this if the ball is immediately in front of them and there are no opponents nearby.

The next best option is to fall on the ball. This is important when there are opponents close by, or the ball is behind the player, or on wet days. Players must then quickly get to their feet with the ball.

The third option is to step over the ball and brace for contact. This protects the ball and allows team mates arriving immediately afterwards to pick it up.

Set-up

  1. Be hungry and brave to win the ball.
  2. Drive forward with short steps, fighting to stay on your feet until support arrives.

What you get your players to do

Put two ruck pad holders in front of a coned or flagged gate 5m wide, with an attacker just in front of them and a ball about 5m away. Get the attacker to walk towards the ball before you shout “GO”.

The attacker picks up the ball, turns and aims to score over the line. The pad holders move forward to push him back and away from the line (see picture 1).

This should encourage a low body position and good leg drive by the attacker.

On your call, the attacker moves quickly to pick up a ball 5m away and score through a coned or flagged gate 5m wide being guarded by two ruck pad holders.

On your call, the attacker moves quickly to pick up a ball 5m away and score through a coned or flagged gate 5m wide being guarded by two ruck pad holders.


Development

Put a player on each corner of a 6m equilateral triangle with a ball in the middle of it. Shout out which player is to go for the ball. A quick count of three later, call for the other players to move forward to defend. The ball player aims to score over the line opposite him while the other two aim to stop him (see picture 2).

The nominated player gathers the ball to score over the line in front of him. The other two aim to stop him.

The nominated player gathers the ball to score over the line in front of him. The other two aim to stop him.


Game situation

Split players into teams of three. Put two teams in a 15m x 10m box, facing away from each other. Roll the ball towards one team and shout “GO” (see picture 3).

Both teams turn and aim to score over the opposite line. The winning team, or the team that does not infringe stays on. The losing team is replaced by three other players.

The teams turn and aim to score over the line in front of them.

The teams turn and aim to score over the line in front of them.


What to call out

“Step over or fall on the ball”
“Get into a low body and driving position early”
“Keep driving forward”

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