EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Hidden threats from the deep

Deception and pace break down organised defences. This session teaches a front line attack to pass to a player arriving at speed from a “hidden” second wave using timing, passing and running angles of both front and back players to hide the threat until the last moment.


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


What to think about

How far back should the “hidden threat” stand and when should they start running?

The “threat” player should start at least 5m from the attacking line, so they don’t look part of it. The best threats will start walking into position as the ball enters the set piece or ruck. They continue walking, then jogging before accelerating into position, giving them the best chance of picking the gap.

Don’t forget the inside pass.

Though this session focuses mainly on the player arriving on the outside of the ball carrier, you can adapt plays to include an inside pass.

Set-up

  1. Ball carriers: Attack the defender in front of you. Step and pass into the space.
  2. “Threats”: Start behind an attacker and accelerate into the space. Speed up late.
  3. All players: Expect a pass, whether a short pass to a “threat” or a miss pass with the threat as a decoy.

What you get your players to do

In a 15m x 7m box, put a ball carrier just behind each set of cones. Make him run forward, then to the side, aiming towards the front cone. The “threat” players run forward at the same time to receive a pass within the cones (see picture 1). Swap “threats” and passers and rotate until all the angles have been explored, including attacking from a different side.

Three “threats” arriving from different angles as each ball carrier steps to one side to deliver a pass.

Three “threats” arriving from different angles as each ball carrier steps to one side to deliver a pass.


Development

Put three ruck pad holders at one end of a 20m square. Set up five attackers, as in picture 2, and let them choose where to attack. Pad holders can go for front line players or react to what happens.

Two “threats” attack from behind a front line. The ruck pad holders aim either to stop a front line player or a “threat”.

Two “threats” attack from behind a front line. The ruck pad holders aim either to stop a front line player or a “threat”.


Game situation

Put two defenders in the 7m area of a 40m x20m box. Place another four defenders across the rest of the box. Three attackers are outside the 7m area with five more attackers opposite the four defenders (see picture 3).

Get 9 to pass to the three attackers who enter the 7m area, get tackled and ruck. The 9 then passes to the other set of attackers (at least one more than the defence). They should align themselves with at least one “hidden threat”.

Let play develop.

Set up a tackle and ruck situation with two defenders and three attackers initially entering the 7m zone at one side. Using front lines and “threats”, the attacking team plays through the phases.

Set up a tackle and ruck situation with two defenders and three attackers initially entering the 7m zone at one side. Using front lines and “threats”, the attacking team plays through the phases.


What to call out

  • “Step late and pass into the space”
  • “Walk and then run into position as a threat”
  • “Keep hidden. Don’t start in the spaces between the front line”
  • “Sometimes use the threat as a decoy and go yourself”
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