EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

The king of one-on-ones

Some players have the natural ability to beat a player one-on-one, but don’t know when to use it or have lost their confidence. Others need the skill to be developed. Even if the player cannot get past his opponent by using this skill, he should at least get beyond the tackler to create “go forward” ball.


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

How close to the defender should the ball carrier be when he changes pace?

There is no set distance. It depends on the relative pace and agility of the two players involved. It is very much a trial and error process for each individual to see how close they can get before accelerating. The closer the attacker gets, the more likely the defender will set himself for a tackle. As soon as the defender stops, the attacker can accelerate away.

How can I get my players to accelerate well?

They need to shorten their stride, lean forward slightly and pump their arms very fast. Use ladders (or cones) to enhance your players’ stride rate, which will improve acceleration and changes of direction.

Set-up

  1. Always be confident in your ability to beat an opponent one-on-one.
  2. Use changes of pace to fix and then beat an opponent.
  3. Get the ball in the correct hand so you can fend or protect it.

What you get your players to do

Start a ball carrier on the corner of a square. The defender starts near him (as picture 1). On your call of “GO”, the ball carrier runs across the middle of the square going in and out of the cones. The defender runs round the edge. The ball carrier has to score in the zone opposite. The defender has to tackle him.

Picture 2 shows the technique required to beat the defender.

In the corner - The ball carrier fixes the defender by slowing down, and then accelerates away.

In the corner - The ball carrier fixes the defender by slowing down, and then accelerates away.


Development

Start the defender in different positions. Move him closer if it is too easy or back if it is too hard.

Change which side the defender comes from and move the scoring zone to make the ball carrier think how he will evade the defender.

1 v 1 game scenario - The ball carrier slows to draw the defender. As the defender slows to make the tackle, the ball carrier changes direction and accelerates away.

1 v 1 game scenario - The ball carrier slows to draw the defender. As the defender slows to make the tackle, the ball carrier changes direction and accelerates away.


Game situation

One-on-one derby

Select two evenly matched teams who face each other across the square. The attacking players attack one at a time against one defender. They win a point for every try scored. The defenders win a point for every try stopped. When every player has attacked the teams swap over.

After each round, the players swap over so they have a different opponent. Start the defenders from the corners or the middle.

One-on-one derby - Each ball carrier uses changes of pace and direction to beat one defender and score.

One-on-one derby - Each ball carrier uses changes of pace and direction to beat one defender and score.


What to call out

  • “Be ready and react to the “GO””
  • “Slow down to pull the defender in then accelerate away to score”
  • “Keep the ball away from the defender so you can fend”
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