EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Front peel

Your team can make vital ground by attacking the gap at the front of the lineout. The catcher at the front passes the ball to the player peeling round from the middle of the lineout. It assumes there is no lift. It is an ideal play to use in the opposition half.


Warm up time: 5
Session time: 5-8
Development time: 6-9
Game time: 15-20
Warm down time: 7


What to think about

The front peel attacks the 5m gap at the front of the lineout where there is often only one defender. The thrower supports the peeling player and can easily create a 2 v 1.

This tactic can be used whether you are allowed to lift or not. It is a good call to use if there is no lift because the peeling player will also be able to gather any deflected balls from the front jumpers and run into the gap.

It also keeps the opposition lineout “honest” so the back markers do not fly out into the midfield and is best used in the opposition half.

Set-up

  1. Catcher: Drop the ball into the path of the peeling player.
  2. Peeler: Wait until the ball is in the air before leaving the lineout to start the peel.
  3. Peeler: Attack the space at the front of the lineout, looking for support from the player who has thrown the ball in.

What you get your players to do

Set up a thrower, catcher and peeling player as in the top picture. Practise the timing of the throw, catch and peel.

You can add a defender opposite the catcher to create competition for the ball.

The catcher pops the ball down or deflects the ball to the peeling player who runs into the gap. He then passes the ball back to the thrower.

The catcher pops the ball down or deflects the ball to the peeling player who runs into the gap. He then passes the ball back to the thrower.


Development

Set up a four-man lineout. Practise the front peel with a straight catch and pop to the fourth man in the lineout. Then have the catcher secure the ball.

Ensure the two support players bind on to him with their arms over his back – as shown in the bottom picture. They should drive forward for one second before releasing the ball to the peeling player. (Use a lift if allowed.)

The peeling player takes the ball from the catcher, with the other players then running to support.

The peeling player takes the ball from the catcher, with the other players then running to support.


Game situation

Split into groups of five. Set up a four man contested lineout (you can mix backs in with forwards). One group throws the ball in. If they win the ball they can catch and drive, or front peel. They score a point if they can go five metres forward with a catch and drive, two points if they use a front peel and another point if they use a front peel to make more than five metres.

Swap who has the throw in and repeat. (Use a lift if allowed, and allow competition in the air for the ball. Don’t worry if teams do not win their own ball. They would have to win it first in a game to perform the peel.)

The catcher secures the ball, the support players bind on. They drive for one second before the peeling player takes a pop and runs into the gap.

The catcher secures the ball, the support players bind on. They drive for one second before the peeling player takes a pop and runs into the gap.


What to call out

  • “Catcher: Turn slightly to catch ball by pushing the inside arm forward”
  • “Peeler: Don’t run too far out from the line in case the ball is deflected”
  • “Peeler: Run hard past the front of the line before straightening up”
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