EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Counter attack

Counter attack is becoming a more common aspect of the game as teams refuse to kick for touch, but instead kicked for territory. This simple session helps the players discover ways to counter attack. It should be a standard session for every season.


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


What to think about

  • Are the players calling and moving to catch the ball?With players who are unused to fielding kicks, practice with you, as the coach, kicking or throwing a ball for them to catch. Once this is achieved make them move to catch the ball. Finally add a shout from the player telling the others it’s his ball.
  • Is the catcher summing up the situation after fielding the ball and making the right decision?Put the catcher in a number of scenarios – catching with plenty of time and catching under a lot of pressure, ensuring support players also read the situation. They must help him make the right decision by moving and talking to him before he catches the ball.

Set-up

  1. Call for the ball early and move quickly to catch it before it hits the ground.
  2. If not involved in the catch, move into a position to collect any dropped balls or to take a pass from the fielding player.
  3. Once the ball is caught sum up the situation, then react – run, pass or do both.
  4. As support players, take the initial pass on the run and go forward.

What you get your players to do

Split your players into groups of three defenders and three counter attackers. A clearing passer makes the first pass to a player who kicks the ball to one of the three opponents facing him. Meanwhile the kicker’s two team mates chase the kick. The three counter attackers have to field the ball then attack back against the two defenders chasing the kick.

A variety of individual and collective techniques and skills can be used to beat the two chasing defenders.

One player kicks and two players chase.

One player kicks and two players chase.


Development

  • Ask the kicker to use a variety of kicks – a punt, long grubber, up and under – so the ball lands on top of the catchers, in front or behind them.
  • Allow the counter attackers to use a kick in their tactics for attacking back.
The fielding player runs back at an angle towards the source of the kick, switches with a team mate who links up with the third support player.

The fielding player runs back at an angle towards the source of the kick, switches with a team mate who links up with the third support player.


Game situation

Begin by playing 6 v 6, with a double layer of three players in each team. The front three are the kickers and chasers, the back three are the fielders and counter attackers. The game starts with one team kicking to the back three of the opposition and chasing the kick.

The back three field it and counter attack with the support of their front three, who drop back making it a 6 v 3. When they counter attack back to the half way line they must kick to their opponent’s back three and so the game continues.

The front three players chase a kick. The receiving team attack to the half way line, with the front players running back to offer support.

The front three players chase a kick. The receiving team attack to the half way line, with the front players running back to offer support.


What to call out

  • “Look at the ball as it is kicked and react”
  • “Turn your body sideways as you catch”
  • “If under pressure jump and catch”
  • “Support from depth and run at the space”
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