EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Double support

If two players are arriving to support the ball carrier near the tackle area, each has to decide what they need to do. This is a decision-making session that forces players to choose the best roles under pressure to maintain continuity.


Warm up time: 5
Session time: 6-9
Development time: 6-9
Game time: 15-20
Warm down time: 7


What to think about

Around five to 10 metres from the sides of rucks, attacking runners can find spaces or congestion.

There is often more than one supporting option and these players might find themselves trying to second guess not just the ball carrier and his defender but also the other support runners.

There are no hard and fast rules on who does what in these situations other than the support players should hold their runs.

They can then see where to support, and where the other players are coming from. Constant communication is essential.

Set-up

  1. Ball carrier: Attack the gaps and listen for support.
  2. Support players: Hold your runs, look where the defence and other support is.
  3. Make a difference at the breakdown. Attack the pass with pace.

What you get your players to do

Set up two ruck pad holders, four attackers and a feeder as in the top two pictures. The feeder passes to a ball carrier who aims to step through either of the two gates of cones in front of him.

One ruck pad holder steps into one of the gates. Depending on which gate he steps through, the ball carrier goes through cleanly or has to take contact and go to ground.

Support players have to take a pass or clear the ruck pad. The other ruck pad player acts as a second defender. If there is a tackle, the ruck pad is cleared and the ball moved to the fourth attacker.

If the ruck pad holder steps into the gate where the ball carrier does not go, then the ball carrier run and passes to beat the second ruck pad holder.

If the ruck pad holder steps into the gate where the ball carrier does not go, then the ball carrier run and passes to beat the second ruck pad holder.


Development

  • Take the ruck pads away
  • Add another defender behind the first defender to disrupt the ruck if necessary.
  • Have one extra pass before the ball carrier goes towards the gates (changes the timing for the support runners, plus the second passer is now a support player).
If the ruck pad holder steps into the same gate as the ball carrier, the ball carrier goes to ground and the support players clear out the ruck pad.

If the ruck pad holder steps into the same gate as the ball carrier, the ball carrier goes to ground and the support players clear out the ruck pad.


Game situation

Play a game of overload rugby, with the attacking team have two extra players. The defence can commit as many players to the breakdown as they want but the attack are only allowed two, plus the tackled player.

Play for one minute before swapping teams. Restart in the middle after any infringement. Send off defenders for negative play.

Play full rugby for one minute. Only two attacking players are allowed into each breakdown with the tackled player. Send off defenders for negative play.

Play full rugby for one minute. Only two attacking players are allowed into each breakdown with the tackled player. Send off defenders for negative play.


What to call out

  • “Don’t bunch in support”
  • “Tell the ball carrier if you want a pass, or whether to go to ground”
  • “In support: slow before action, fast through the action”
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