EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FROM QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED GRASSROOTS RUGBY COACHES

Latch and smash

Here is an easy-to-coach contact technique that will help break through defensive lines. It is especially good if you have a smaller team, a support player simply latches on to the ball carrier and pushes him through the defender.


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


What to think about

This is a great technique for sides who are smaller than their opponents.

It creates a two-body drive against one defender. It is essential the ball carrier goes forward into contact and does not wait for the “latcher” who has to be dynamic and get in position quickly, telling the ball carrier he is going to do this.

The “latcher” might misfire on occasions (perhaps more than once in a game), but at least he is in close support in the contact area.

Set-up

  1. Ball carrier: Stay on feet in contact and keep driving forward.
  2. Support player: Drive the ball carrier through the contact, either binding onto their hips or back.

What you get your players to do

Put a ball carrier about a metre from at least one ruck pad holder. Put a support player about a metre behind.

The ball carrier drives into the pad or pads. On impact, the support player should drive on to the ball carrier.

This is not an exact science so let the players have plenty of goes to sort out what works best for them.

If the ball carrier falls over, the support player can choose whether to protect the ball or pick and go.

The ball carrier drives into the pad (or pads) and the support player drives on to him to help him through.

The ball carrier drives into the pad (or pads) and the support player drives on to him to help him through.


Development

Have a player pass the ball to a receiver who drives into a gap between two ruck pads.

A supporting player starts at different points away from the ball carrier. He needs to time his run to offer the best support to drive the ball carrier through the pads.

Pass the ball and the receiver drives through the middle of the two pads. The support player moves to drive him through.

Pass the ball and the receiver drives through the middle of the two pads. The support player moves to drive him through.


Game situation

Play a game of two pass, two tacklers. Play at least five-a-side. The tacklers cannot compete for the ball once the ball carrier is on the ground but can wrestle the ball from a maul.

Only tacklers can go for the ball carrier. There is no offloading.

Once the maul or tackle is over, the attack can only pass the ball twice. The ball is turned over for mistakes and infringements.

Only two defenders can tackle the ball carrier. No competing when the ball carrier is grounded. No offloads and only two passes.

Only two defenders can tackle the ball carrier. No competing when the ball carrier is grounded. No offloads and only two passes.


What to call out

  • “Drive on to the hip”
  • “Keep square in the contact, so both players are looking and driving forward”
  • “Ball carrier, don’t wait for the support – he will be there!”
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