Improve your players’ footwork before contact and how they protect the ball, so they retain possession. An excellent breakout exercise during a normal session. The attacker should dominate any contact whether to offload or wait for support. MORE
A player who is flat does not have a good chance of generating much speed to take the ball on – such as when gathering the ball from a ruck. Therefore they have to make best use of the available space. There are two key elements: Taking the pass in a way that does not compromise the player while not providing an easy target for a tackler.
Warm up time: 5-7
Session time: 8-10
Development time: 10-15
Game time: 10-15
Warm down time: 5-8
What to think about
In multi-phase rugby, it is not unusual for one or two passes to go to static players. Also, when a team is attacking the opposition try line from a short distance, players often have very little chance to get up a head of steam.
You will need to balance how “upright” you want players to be. Some taller players like to be almost falling over as they take the ball, so they are not exposed. It is very much what works for individual players – some are burrowers, others are steppers and some just like to drive hard at the nearest target!
- Get the ball close to your chest, step forward to get momentum before driving to the side of contact.
- Fight hard with your legs and upper body to become a moving target.
What you get your players to do
Put two attackers on the edge of a 10m square with a feeder on either side of the box with a ball at his feet. Put two ruck pad holders in the middle of the box. Stand behind the attackers and have the feeders facing you. Point to a feeder, who passes to the nearest attacker (see picture 1).
They run forward, driving through the ruck-pad holders to get to the far side. The other attacker runs in support (see picture 2).
Remove ruck pads (use tackle suits).
Have only one feeder but he can pass to either forward.
Get the players to run from about 10m away, before setting up in the box.
Put four attackers in a 20m x 10m box. They pass the ball between them, with the ball carrier moving forward two steps, passing and then getting back into the line. Put two defenders about 5m opposite them (see picture 3).
They shadow the passes but cannot cross the line in front of them. Either you shout “PLAY” or the attackers decide to attack themselves. Allow no passes before contact but players can offload in contact. Play full contact.
What to call out
- “Twist in the contact area”
- “Steal space by driving the legs in contact”
- “Don’t turn around before contact – keep moving forward”